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 (8/20/18):
The boardwalk at the Turkey Creek Sanctuary, 1502 Port Malabar Blvd. in Palm Bay, is now fully reopened. Portions of the boardwalk were heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma last November and have been closed since. Approximately 800 feet of boardwalk has been replaced and another 1,000 feet has been repaired. The total linear footage of the boardwalk is approximately 4,700 feet. Remaining repairs will be made by the end of this year, with the boardwalk remaining open during those repairs.
Two new seating areas were added, and the Canoe Deck area was upgraded and dedicated as the Oli Johnson Canoe Deck this past May. In addition, three new safety entrances have been added to make it easier to remove someone from the boardwalk in an emergency.
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.