If you are a lover of nature, New Smyrna Beach is the crème de la crème when it comes to exploring…

New Smyrna Beach may be famous for its miles of beautiful beaches, but you may be surprised to learn that it is also brimming with nature parks and hiking trails…some of which are, of course, in and around our most spectacular bodies of water and others can be found on the mainland, lush with vegetation, scenic views and wildlife in abundance.

Nature Parks in New Smyrna Beach

Canaveral National Park – the national seashore located between New Smyrna Beach and Titusville, the longest stretch of undeveloped Atlantic coastline in Florida and a sanctuary that is home to thousands of species of plants and animals – may be the most impressive.

However, New Smyrna Beach is also home to numerous smaller and just as beloved parks, one of which neighbors The Inlet at Minorca and is listed as Trip Advisor’s top choice – Smyrna Dunes Park. It’s over two miles of boardwalk along the jetty and ocean with spectacular views of the water, beaches and lighthouse is perfect for undisturbed morning walks. It also offers an approximately half-mile-long dog beach trail for those with furry friends. Another park that is popular with the pups (and their owners) is the New Smyrna Beach Dog Park located at 2641 Paige Avenue.

Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park at 6656 South Atlantic Avenue in New Smyrna Beach is a quiet setting with a boardwalk providing an excellent perch for manatee and dolphin watching. You’ll also find plenty of parking, clean restrooms and picnic pavilions there.

There’s Lake Ashby Park at 4150 Boy Scout Camp Road, with a boardwalk extending out over the large, beautiful lake, scenic walking path and gazebo with benches for those who prefer to take in their scenery while relaxing. 

If you’re looking for great beach access on the parking portion of the beach, 27th Avenue Park, located at 3701 S. Atlantic Avenue in New Smyrna Beach, may be more to your liking. There’s also Riverside Park at 105 S. Riverside Drive, offering walking paths with views of the waterway; and Indian River Lagoon Park, a 90-acre off the beaten trail alternative at 700 Sandpiper Avenue where you will discover old, moss-covered trees, mangroves and a paved trail lined with benches along its loop.

Explore Along the Many Scenic Nature Trails in New Smyrna Beach

Or, take another road less traveled, as the nature trails in New Smyrna Beach are pretty amazing too! The Spruce Creek Preserve provides some nice walking and hiking nature trail options, including Spruce Creek Trail, a 3.2 mile loop for hiking and biking. Wooden pathways with great views of Spruce Creek are covered in a canopy of greenery. The Spruce Creek Westside trail is 5.7 miles for those who enjoy a longer hike and Dons Leeper Trail is a sandy 3.9 nature path.

If nature hikes are your thing, you also might want to give Deep Creek Preserve, with over 8,000 acres of extended and short loops, a try. Or weave a little history into your nature excursion on the Turtle Mound Trail, an easy hike up and around the historic midden.

Sea Life in its Natural Habitat in New Smyrna Beach

With Canaveral National Seashore to the south, the Atlantic Ocean serving as its eastern border, the Intracoastal Waterway flowing between the mainland and the coastal barrier island and its downtown nestled along the Indian River, New Smyrna Beach is virtually surrounded by water. From the miles of pristine white sand beaches, to tranquil back bays and riverside settings, our waters are definitely a focal point within the charming beachside town of New Smyrna Beach. So, whatever you do, don’t miss out on experiencing nature’s splendor via New Smyrna Beach by water.

The ocean, unleashing a potent brew of refreshment and renewal, or soothing our spirits and healing our souls with its calm waters, is home to inhabitants just as magnificent. Consider the manatees, our gentle giants of the sea, who respite within Florida’s warmer interior bodies of water from approximately November through April. One fun way to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures is to rent a kayak at JB’s Fish Camp, located at 859 Pompano Avenue, where you’ll have access to Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park and the cove where they are prevalent. 

Playful porpoises can also be spotted there or on a boat tour along the Cape Canaveral Shoreline, which can also be scheduled at JB’s (along with yummy lunch or dinner with a waterfront view when you are done!)

What you may have heard if you have spent any measure of time here in New Smyrna Beach is that we also treasure our sea turtles who choose this area as a safe haven for their nesting grounds. Sea turtle nesting season – when hundreds of sea turtles emerge from the sea to lay their eggs on our beautiful beaches and sea turtle hatchlings break free of their shells to begin their arduous trek to their new ocean home – starts May 1st and runs through October 31st in New Smyrna Beach.

The centerpiece of a 3,000-mile Intracoastal Waterway system and 35 miles of panoramic shoreline, New Smyrna Beach provides deep water access attracting an amazing amount of sea life and housing a diverse aquatic ecosystem. Another lovely way to take it all in is along the Wilbur Rose Blueway, a paddling trail along the Intracoastal Waterway and tributaries – just perfect for kayakers, paddle boarders and canoers. It begins and ends at Wilbur Boathouse and you will find it, with parking and a boat launch at 4200 S. Peninsula Drive.

The moral of this story is that whether you choose to commune with nature by paddle board, motorboat, or by walking along its tranquil trails or beaches, the experience may be slightly different, but the result is always the same – natural splendor without rival. It’s simply the nature of New Smyrna Beach.

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