Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area Loop Trail

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Vero Beach, Florida

Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area Loop Trail is a 5.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Vero Beach, Florida that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.1 miles Elevation Gain: 0 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wildlife

bugs

muddy

NOTE: As of March 2020, this trail may be closed due to COVID-19 concerns. Please check with the park site before visiting for more information. Please note: Vehicle access beyond Lake Cara is by permit only. Please call the district’s Land Resources Bureau at 386-329-4404 for information about a “day use” permit. A boardwalk provides an opportunity to hike through a hardwood swamp to reach Hog Island for trails and primitive camping. A picnic pavilion and picnic tables are located adjacent to Horseshoe Lake. Horseback riding is not allowed on levees. You may also obtain over night camping permits. Happy hiking and always check myfwc.com for hunting seasons because you can not access or camp those times of year.

hiking
no shade
8 days ago

Official Permit required to hike here. 5+ miles round trip from the parking area. Very diverse trail, start with the sand path and get it out of the way. Be extremely careful under the power lines, we got shocked multiple times just walking the trail. Came across some amazing pitcher plants and wildflowers towards the end. Not very shaded. Had to carry our black dog the last mile, brings lots of water and take the heat into account!

hiking
30 days ago

We loved hiking here for the first time. What a gem right outside of Vero! Lots of shade on the white and yellow trails. The red trail gets a bit long and sunny through scrubs and along a strip of power lines. But overall, pretty diverse of a landscape for where we are! Can’t wait to canoe next time. Definitely recommend!

hiking
closed
2 months ago

Trailhead says they are closed for COVID19 concerns....

Awesome, with a breeze

nature trips
no shade
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty awesome trail. It was hard to find the entrance though. I drove back to the Fort Drum Conservatory Area but the gate for cars was locked. Ended up going through the man gate on the side and walked about .5 - 1 mile before reaching any of the trails. The trails were pretty awesome, especially the bridge to walk on. The one trail I went on was flooded after awhile so I had to turn around. Didn't see much wildlife other than birds and a few small lizards. Would definitely recommend though!

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

Visited the Sunday before christmas, it has been raining for 2 days prior. The trail was fine, boardwalk was slippery as expected. I saw a deer and birds mostly. Great hike!

hiking
bugs
flooded
5 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Not a review but I am answering a bunch of questions I have been seeing in the reviews. Recreational activities Activities include hiking, picnicking, horseback riding, fishing, bicycling, primitive camping at designated sites, wildlife viewing, canoeing and seasonal hunting. A boardwalk provides an opportunity to hike through a hardwood swamp to reach Hog Island for trails and primitive camping. A picnic pavilion and picnic tables are located adjacent to Horseshoe Lake. Horseback riding is not allowed on levees. Vehicle access beyond Lake Cara is by permit only. Please call the district’s Land Resources Bureau at 386-329-4404 for information about a “day use” permit. Geocache located on property. Please visit our geocache database for more information. You may also obtain over night camping permits at no charge but I will leave that one for you all to figure out. Happy hiking and always check myfwc.com for hunting seasons because you can not access or camp those times of year.

hiking
Mon Mar 25 2019

Several different trails (red, white, yellow) of varying lengths. Red trail is well-maintained, white and yellow are rougher. Can see deer, hogs, turkey and other various critters. Check St. John’s Water Management District website to check for days closed for special opportunity hunts.

hiking
no shade
Sat Feb 23 2019

The surroundings on this trail are quite nice. Be prepared for varying types of terrain. Hiking/walking stick, be dressed for the environment, and bring yourself something to drink!

hiking
Wed Sep 05 2018

As others have said, you have to walk a mile and a half until you get to the woods. But then after another half mile you come to a beautiful quarter mile Bridge. Now on the way back I passed the parking area, and there was pick up truck. Parked there. So there must be someway and that we don’t know about. I’m wondering when you first come in if you go to the right instead of to The left if it takes you to the parking. There’s a great breeze. So number of hawks. Two adult deer and one fawn.

hiking
Sun Aug 26 2018

Much bigger than it seems. The gate was locked with no attendant so we parked and hoped the fence. It’s about a mile and half walk to the trail from there, bring a hat! We found the boardwalk, and a lot of dead spiders. Make sure you remember where you are going once you leave the boardwalk, we found a hidden camp area but almost got lost heading back as the trail isn’t clear. We were there for a few hours and didn’t see a single person. Loved the nature and plan to hike the whole thing in cooler months

hiking
Tue Apr 17 2018

Disappointment. Trail closed due to Turkey hunting season.

Fri Mar 23 2018

Love the horseshoe lake trail!!!

Fri Apr 14 2017

First time out there today and it is was well worth the ride from Port St. Lucie. The trails are well marked and it's very quiet and secluded. Between the cypress swamp, pine forest, palm trees, and oak hammocks it's hard to pick a favorite. Plan ahead and call the sjrwmd to get the code for the gate otherwise you end up walking an extra 2 miles on a white dirt road.

hiking
Sun Aug 31 2014

Amazing hike gate was locked at boat landing but was a nice walk down road towards group camping. I passed the group camping area which had nice lake views ect but continued right through 2nd gate along red trail head and at for stayed right and got to the elevated walkway it was amazing I'm coming back with others to this place I'm sure it was better then normal also since it rained the night before as tons of wildlife everywhere. I seen large flock of white birds feeding around the raised walkway. Raccoon, deer and the best was a Owl!!!!! I will try to post pics it was about 3.5 mile easy all flat walk just would wear boots next time as this park is not used much and grass was about 4 inches high so got wet feet

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
9 months ago