This is a wonderful year-round hike for those not afraid of the sun's relentless rays. The walk is 24 miles one-way. You may choose to do all or some of this walk. Be sure to take plenty of drinking water, sunscreen and sunglasses. There is no drinking water available along the beach. Bug spray is also a good idea.
The hike is actually comprised of three beaches: Apollo Beach on the north, Klondike Beach in the center and Playalinda Beach on the south. Both Apollo and Playalinda have vehicular parking areas. Klondike Beach is reachable only by foot, offering a more remote slice of eastern shore. This beach is actually the best for beachcombing, which is permitted by the National Park Service. Treasurers include lightning whelks, calico scallops, razor clams, and angel wings.
Alongside the fabulous crystal turquoise waters, sand dunes grace the upper ground. Vegetation includes sea oats, round-leafed seagrape, bayonet-leafed yuccas, prickly pear cactus and saw palmetto. Creatures enjoying seagrapes include the nocturnal raccoons that love this small fruit. In addition to the raccoon, armadillos and several species of harmless snakes enjoy the beachfront plant life.
In summer, visitors will find the beach open for hiking only during the daylight. This is due to the nesting loggerhead and green sea turtles. Early risers may see the tracks left behind by the females once they've laid their eggs and returned to the sea. The park does offer guided night tours to locations near the nesting turtles. Contact the park office for details and reservations.
In winter, visitors will be delighted with the array of birdlife visiting the park. The 310 species of birds include literally thousands of ducks, gulls, terns, songbirds, and raptors. This site is considered one of the best wildlife viewing sights in America.
Surf anglers will not be disappointed either. Bluefish, redfish, and whiting are just a few of the species prevalent off the shore.
Note: High tides and large waves can make the beachfront extremely slender. Walking on protected dunes is prohibited. Watch tide schedule and weather forecast before venturing out.
Directions: From Titusville, FL, Travel to the North District of the Park, near New Smyrna Beach. Take Interstate 95 to State Road 44 (Exit 84), East on SR 44 to A1A, south on A1A, seven miles.
Elevation: Sea Level
Elevation Gain: Minimal
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Canaveral National Seashore, Florida
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