Jack C. Watson Nature Trail

Dedication of the Jack C. Watson Nature Trail in the Pinelands!

The Jack C. Watson nature trail is just a short distance from the Blue Hole on Big Pine Key. Be sure to take this sweet little hike while you are here.

hiking the Jack C. Watson nature trail
Hiking the Jack C. Watson nature trail!

Just a short distance up the road from the Blue Hole on Big Pine Key, you will see a parking lot and a sign at the trail head of the Jack C. Watson Nature Trail.

It is well worth the time and energy it takes to walk this beautiful little nature trail. The trail itself is less than a mile long and very easy walking.

This trail winds its way around solution holes and will take you through one of the last and most beautiful slash pine forests in the Florida Keys.

“Taking Care!”

While in the “Keys”, take care and enjoy the offerings. Keep in mind that the islands get a lot of traffic so leave as little impact as possible during your travels. Take your camera, create memories, and if you can’t stay, come back often!

hiking the Jack C. Watson nature trail
Pines along the trail

There is something different about walking through the pineland area, maybe a little surreal at times.

It’s areas like this that are so special in the “Keys”. The Jack C. Watson nature trail takes you away from the craziness found along the Overseas Highway. It’s quiet and serene. It’s an excellent place to be and helps put things in perspective.

We like to catch the trail early in the mornings or late in the afternoons when the sun is a little lower in the sky.

The trail has numerous signs along the trail describing the flora and fauna of the area.

You can enjoy a nice stroll and educate yourself about the native keys trees at the same time!

Beware the Poisonwood!

You will be walking through an area abundant in poisonwood. It’s not a bad idea to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when you are unfamiliar with an area’s inhabitants! All parts of the tree will carry sap so you should avoid any contact.

Signs will point out the poisonwood early in the walk. Poisonwood is also called hog gum or the Florida Poison Tree.

Poisonwood inhabits the hardwood hammocks, the pinelands, and sandy dunes near salt water.

We recently had a friend get tangled up in some poisonwood by accident and he ended up missing a week’s worth of work!

Thanks to Jack C. Watson for his stewardship of the Key Deer and the Big Pine Key. It’s nice knowing that our children and our children’s children will have the same opportunity we’ve had.

The Nature Trail is located at mile marker 30 in the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key!

“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” – Raymond Inmon