Scenic USA - Florida

St. Lucie River

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St. Lucie River - Stuart, Florida

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Nearby Stuart, south Florida's swamps and wetlands slowly give up their dark stained waters to the meandering St. Lucie River. In turn, here in Martin County, the South Fork of the St. Lucie River slowly makes its way out to the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. South River Outfitters Once called the Halpatiokee River, both south and north forks of the St. Lucie River begin at elevations of not more than 20 feet and connect inland with Lake Okeechobee by way of the Okeechobee Waterway.
   Just a short distance from Interstate 95 (Exit 101), the Halpatiokee Regional Park and Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park surround a large section of the St. Lucie River. Here the laid-back atmosphere on Lost River Road matches that of the lazy river. Cut through the thick oak and palmetto scrub, the river area provides an inspiring experience for hikers, bikers, canoeists and kayakers. Single track bike trails follow the St. Lucie River for a few miles, with the remaining tree-covered paths winding through a shady oak hammock. This natural setting is ideal for a good look at Florida's vanishing scrub habitat. This fragile ecosystem must deal with nutrient-poor sandy soil, long periods of drought and fire, and summer months of heavy rainfall. There's a chance backcountry campers and hikers may come across a few of Florida's most Paddlers - St Lucie River, Florida threatened animals, including the eastern indigo snake, Florida scrub jay and the gopher tortoise.
   For water lovers, you may bring your own canoe and follow the St. Lucie out and back for a four hour river trip. Located under the shade of a huge live oak, the brightly colored South River Outfitters will provide water access, canoes, kayaks, trail bikes and all the necessary equipment for a chance to experience the real South Florida.

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