Last Monday we needed to drop off a piece of furniture and pick up our luggage from Sarah in Jacksonville so we decided to take a daycation to Flagler County during the day before meeting Sarah and Daniel after work. We spent some time on the beach, rode bikes, ate lunch and strolled through Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. With the temperature in the 70s and the skies clear, it’s easy to understand why so many spend time in Florida for Spring Break.
After taking a short walk on the beach at Gamble Rogers State Park (keeping our eyes open in hope of seeing migrating right whales), we drove a few miles west to the Lehigh Rails to Trails Colbert Trailhead for what we expected to be a 16 mile bike ride. Unfortunately, the round trip turned out to be only 8 miles, not eight miles each way.
The trail is well marked with maps, mile markers and a bike maintenance station at each end of the trail. In addition pet waste posts and benches are available for walkers. The flat, short paved path passes through the Graham Swamp. Much of the trail is lined by trees and many people report seeing gators, foxes, deer and wading birds. Wild turkey were the only wildlife we encountered on our ride.
Ready for a lunch break, we drove back to the coast and ordered seafood tacos and wraps at Java Joint where we ate on the porch overlooking the beach to the roar of hundreds of motorcycles in town for Bike Week.
Time for another walk on the beach, this time at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. I love the ruggedness of this beach, so much better than the beach crowded with cars farther south.
Across A1A from the beach at Washington Oaks is the garden portion of the park, another place for a walk before taking our bikes off the rack for a ride down old highway A1A. This was a short, unpaved trail in the park so we continued our ride on the paved trail along the beach until we reached the Marineland attraction. This 7.5 mile ride made our total mileage for the day nearly 16 miles, the distance we’d hoped to ride.
I can hardly imagine a better way to spend the day.
- Gas $16 (about 8 gallons at $2/gallon)
- Lunch $30
- Park admission $5/vehicle (no charge for us since we have an annual state park pass)