One of my favorite trails to wander in the GTM Research Reserve is the yellow trail. This trail has many old oak trees covered with moss that twinkles in the morning sun before winding through several other eco systems along the way, ending along the banks of the intra-coastal water way.
At the end of the trail and at the water’s edge near Shell Bluff Landing, lays a coquina block well that marks the location of Juan Andreu’s plantation during the Second Spanish Period, according to the Friends of the GTM Reserve website and is easily approachable.
Another favorite part of this trail is a stand of Eastern Red Cedar trees, some of which were blown over during the tropical storms that came through the area several years ago. As I walked through this area the smell of cedar hangs in the air, especially if the forest is wet after a rain.
During the spring and early summer, alligators start to move around looking for mates and on one of my hikes I heard the crunch of a small creature moving through the forest floor. As I looked around further, I noticed this smaller gator just off of this trail. An unusual site for sure.