Julington Durbin Creek Preserve in Jacksonville, Florida has 3 potential trails to check out. You can hike the majority of each trail within 7 miles total. Each trail is unique but they do overlap one another.
The Entrance to the preserve was a wide bumpy dirt road. The Parking Lot is very large, and can house dozens of vehicles. This area was more busy than I expected, and there were over 10 other vehicles in the parking lot when we arrived.
There is no parking or any entrance fee at Julington Durbin Creek Preserve 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 3 total trails at Julington Durbin Creek Preserve. The trails are labeled white, yellow, and red. If you look on the map there is a red dot, and that's where you start by the parking area. The red trail is a one mile straight shot each way. The white trail is just short of 4 miles but if you want a longer hike you can go on to the extended yellow trail loop that spans a little longer than 6 miles.
The Hike begins with a map of the preserve along-side 3 picnic tables which looks like an awesome place to have a picnic. After that you hit the actual trail which quickly has a split. One trail continues straight forward as the other veers slighty to the right. The path that leads straight ahead is the quickest trail and is 1 mile each way. This trail also known as the red trail is very wide open for the first half but the second half feels more like a jungle. This half includes bridges and swampy water on each side of the trail. At one point the trail was completely covered with water, and we had to jump across to continue towards the end. At the end of this trail is a potential kayak entrance point.. maybe.. Not very sure but straight ahead is some kind of building with a dock that has a sign that says "private property". This building only can be accessed by swimming or with a water craft but do not trespass. On the way back on this trail we passed a black snake with yellow stripes it was approximately 3-4 feet long and we avoided it completely, and it eventually slithered off into the jungle.
This trail begins the same but eventually veers off towards the right of the red trail. This trail is extremely wide and gives you limited shade from the powerful sun. This is one of the first hikes where I felt myself getting sunburnt due to the lack of forestation. The trail eventually has another split, and if you continue straight you have now comitted yourself to the longer 6 mile yellow trail. We decided to follow the white trail looping back towards the red trail instead of the much longer alternative. The second half of the loop was very similar to the first half except there was more cool greenery i guess you would call it. Esentially more mushrooms, and cool little trees with giant leaves giving us excuses to slow down the pace, and take pictures as we went along.
6 miles is a nice long hike. Unfortunately we showed up later than anticipated, and it was already very toasty outside. Because of this we can't give you the full scoop of this trail. If you have any insight of this trail please comment below so we can share it with our audience! We will be back another time to check it out so stay posted for that blog in the near future.