Dutton Island Preserve in Jacksonville, Florida has 2 different sections to check out. The two different sections are named Dutton Island Preserve 1 and 2. The two sections are connected by road, and a bike trail, and both sections offer hiking trails.
The Parking Lot for Dutton Island II is very large, and can house a lot of vehicles. This parking lot was completely empty, and we didn't see anyone the entire time we were there.
There is no parking or any entrance fee at Dutton Island Preserve II which is a huge plus! Having an amazing hiking trail like this that is completely free is very rare. Doing your part to atleast help keep it clean goes a long way!
The entire hiking trail is completely dog friendly. We saw two other dogs along the trail as we walked along. They have a sign at the beginning of the trails telling dog owners to make sure their dogs are on the leash.
There are two different sections of Dutton Island Preserve however this blog will only cover Dutton Island II also known as the Dutton Island Preserve Expansion site. We wanted to combine both sections however we were cut off by rain after completing this hike. If you look on the map the trail begins at the Park Entrance & Picnic Area. On the map it says that the nature trail is 1.15 miles long however when we went we tracked it at 1.6 miles. The trail stays pretty wide but still provides that much needed shade. A lot of the trees had that awesome spanish moss on them, and the complete lack of spider webs equates to more mosquitos and they are huge out here. Another cool thing they have done is added bird houses along the trail as well as other interesting signs. There are also a couple of spots off to the side of the trail with a bench or random picnic table if you need a quick break. At less than 2 miles the only breaks we took were around the Kayak Landing to enjoy the views.
This trail was very easy but keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. On our visit we had the opportunity to see a beautiful turtle, a 3 foot super fast snake, as well as hundreds of fiddler crabs. Unfortunately the snake we saw was to fast for us to snap a photo. However, we got a couple photos of the turtle. This was our first time spotting a turtle on one of our hikes, and it was amazing how beautiful it's shell was!
The only challenging part about this hike was up around the Kayak Landing. When we went it was falling tide so the roads, and part of the trail especially around the kayak landing had water flooding the trail. We had to squeeze along the inside of the trail up against the brush to get around the bend at the Kayak Landing corner.
The viewing points around the Kayak Landing are amazing. Obviously the pictures are great but are nothing like the real thing. If you have any questions or have advice for us before we go to Dutton Island I please comment below. We want to have a more interactive blog where we can communicate with our audience. We in no way believe we are experts and believe there are several awesome things about some of the trails we have been on we might have missed and would love feedback so next time we visit that location we can check it out!