All Participants should meet at the sanctuary Nature Center no later than 10:00 am. Tours will take place on the boardwalk and various trails located throughout the sanctuary. Each tour will be led by the Park Ranger and will focus on common plants and animals found in the sanctuary.
Total distance for tours is approximately 1 to 1.5 miles and should take about 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours to complete. The terrain is mostly sandy on primitive trails with a few wet spots, so participants are asked to dress accordingly and be prepared for a hike of light to moderate intensity. Sturdy tennis shoes or boots are recommended. Items to bring include Sunscreen, insect repellent, plenty of water, snacks, binoculars, and a hat. Field guides of Florida plants and animals are encouraged.
This event is free for all ages. To sign up call the Nature Center at (321) 676-6690.
Boardwalk Update (3/15/18): Our work crews have repaired extensive tree and flood damage to portions of the boardwalk and many sections are now OPEN to park visitors. Currently, we are in the process of rebuilding the Canoe Deck and will then proceed to repairing the west side of the Hammock Trail loop. This portion of the boardwalk suffered extensive structural damage due to Hurricane Irma and will take several months to repair.
We ask that visitors please observe signs and stay out of closed areas. The safety of park visitors and work crew members is our main priority. Thank You
Attention TCS Visitors:
FWC contractors will be on-site during the next few weeks treating exotic invasive plants. The herbicides used to treat these plants are harmless to people and animals, but please avoid exposure by staying out of areas where contractors are working. Treated plants will be colored with blue dye- this is a harmless substance and helps workers know which plants have already been sprayed with herbicide.
Plants to be treated include Brazilian Pepper, Rosary Pea, Old World Climbing Fern, and others. These plants have become well established in the park and have displaced native vegetation in many cases. Some of these plants are also toxic to people and animals and should be removed whenever possible.
Please contact the Park Ranger if you have questions or concerns at (321) 676-6690. Thank You!
Please Pardon Our Sawdust
As many of you know, the Sanctuary suffered severe damage due to hurricanes Matthew (2016) and Irma (2017). Approximately 500 mature sand pines were toppled during the storms and at least 150 more were killed by the Ips Engraver Beetle, a native insect that infects pine trees that have been weakened by storm events and disease. In addition, the park boardwalk suffered severe structural damage from the severe flooding and high winds associated with Hurricane Irma.
Our work crews are working hard to remove debris and open trails and sections of the boardwalk as soon as possible. We anticipate most repairs and clean-up activities will be completed by June 1st, 2018. During this time, we ask that visitors please observe signs and stay out of closed areas. The safety of our park visitors and work crew members is our main priority.
1518 Port Malabar Blvd. NE Palm Bay, FL 32905 Map
Please Note: Public access and parking to the Turkey Creek Sanctuary is available at the Margaret Hames Nature Center by the Tony Rosa Community Center
Directions: Located off Port Malabar Blvd. at Santiago Dr.
Open 7 days a week, admission is FREE.
Oli Johnson, former Park Ranger, exploring Turkey Creek Sanctuary from a kayak.
About Turkey Creek Sanctuary
As part of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) program and the East Florida section of the Great Florida Birding Trail, Turkey Creek Sanctuary is 130 acres of wonder, biodiversity and natural resources.
Established in 1981, the Sanctuary offers a 1.85 mile boardwalk passing through hydric (wet) hammock, mesic (moist) hammock, and sand pine scrub communities, and 1.5 miles of jogging trails through native forest, both excellent for viewing a multitude of wild life. Within the Sanctuary, there is also a 1 mile mountain bike trail with a direct connection to an additional 8 miles. As well as walking, jogging and biking, the Sanctuary can also be accessed by canoe or kayak.
The on-site Margaret Hames Nature Center, opened in 1992, offers interpretive exhibits, and environmental education programs, including nature day camps, tours, nature library and gift store.
You'll enjoy seeing manatees, alligators and Florida cooters (turtles) in the creek, and you might see an otter or a gar fish. Birds abound in the old pine canopy, including ospreys and owls.
The Sanctuary is ADA Accessible.
Call (321) 676-6690 for more information. The Park is open from 7am till sunset or when posted. The Nature Center is open MOST days from 9 AM to 4 PM and is staffed by volunteers. Please call before you show up, if you want to visit the center, to make sure staff is there. Admission is free. No smoking in the park, please don't litter or feed the wildlife.