Tamaya residents know their neighborhood is very stroll-able. There’s never a shortage of good places to walk or run when you feel the need to stretch your legs. But we at ICI Homes have another suggestion for Tamaya residents: the University of North Florida’s nature trails. The UNF nature trails are a bit of hidden treasure if you’re not familiar with the school. Its campus is near Tamaya and the nature trails are open to the public, as well as the University of North Florida community, year-round.
Read on for another way Tamaya residents can enjoy the great outdoors.
UNF’s nature trails are a slice of tranquility in a growing area of Jacksonville.
The campus (and trails) are located less than 10 minutes and 4.5 miles from Tamaya. Head south on Kernan Boulevard until the traffic signal at Alumni Drive. Turn right. Go approximately a half-mile and turn left onto University of North Florida Drive (then stay left).
At the intersection with Eco Road, look left until you spot the UNF Parking Services building. Park there in Lot 100. On weekdays, you need a pass from Parking Services.
Depending when you go and what campus facilities are open, you might stop inside the John M. Golden Environmental Education Pavilion and pick up a map before hitting the trails. Or, look online before you go for all the details.
UNF nature trails are a special outdoor place
The UNF nature trails are part of the university’s natural resources. They’re formally known as the Robert W. Loftin Nature Trails in honor of the UNF professor who championed their establishment decades ago. The five trails combined total 5.85 miles.
The trails take users through a 500-acre natural area on the UNF campus, and include the 382-acre Sawmill Slough Preserve. Two small tranquil lakes, abundant plants and wildlife, and natural beauty are yours to explore around every trail bend.
You’ll experience multiple ecosystems — wetlands, coastal forests — and even see an enormous cypress estimated to be approximately 500 years old. Some trails are boardwalks and feature small bridges over streams and wetlands. The five trails are:
The .47-mile Big Cypress Trail.
The 1.44-mile Blueberry Trail.
The 2.85-mile Goldenrod Trail.
The .78-mile Gopher Tortoise Ridge.
The .31-mile Red Maple Boardwalk.
Note: pets and bicycles aren’t permitted on the UNF nature trails. Leave Fido at home and take a buddy or exercise partner instead!
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