Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area Loop Trail is a 8.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Vero Beach, Florida that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, birding, and fishing and is accessible year-round.
Drive either 10 miles east on SR 60 from the Yeehaw Junction exit of the Florida Turnpike, or 15 miles west on SR 60 from I-95 exit 147, Vero Beach. The entrance to Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area lies to the south; look for the small sign. Follow the road along the levees for 0.8 miles to reach the parking area at Lake Cara. An attendant may be present. Open the gate in front of you (and close it behind you) to drive another 1.3 miles on a narrow limestone road to reach the Horseshoe Lake parking area. If the Lake Cara gate is locked, walk south down the road from the Lake Cara parking lot, extending the total length of your hike to 5.6 miles.
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.
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