Bay Boardwalk Trail is an easy hike in Crooked River State Park near Jacksonville. This trail is kid friendly and dog friendly, so long as your furry kids are on leash. The park says "A boardwalk leads to a hardwood and evergreen wetland dominated by two tree species: loblolly bay and swamp bay. Even during winter, this forest appears to be a wall of dark green, dense foliage. Typical south Georgia swamps contain cypress and gum trees that appear bare during colder months. Even during summer, the shade along this trail is noticeably cooler and more humid than other areas. Although the creek bottom appears mucky, its water is surprisingly clear, coming from rainfall and seepage from the surrounding sandy soil. Decaying trees and leaf litter on the ground form a layer of peat that can be many feet thick. This soil is strongly acidic, high in organic material and holds water like a sponge. Because of this ability, the forest floor does not support fire except during extreme drought conditions. Common trees and plants in the bay forest include loblolly bay, swamp bay, tulip poplar, water oak, red maple, sweetgum, swamp and water tupelo, cinnamon fern, netted chain fern, climbing hydrangea, muscadine grapes, fetterbush lyonia and wax myrtle. Look for small ferns in the trees that appear dead during dry weather and alive after it has rained. This is called resurrection fern. Birders may spot red-bellied woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, flicker, sapsucker, yellowthroat warbler, pine warbler, Northern parula warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, nuthatch, great crested flycatcher, Acadian flycatcher, barred owl, great horned owl, red-tailed hawk, and migratory songbirds and raptors." There is camping available in Crooked River State Park.
Entrance and Camping Fees
Contact: Crooked River State Park 6222 Charlie Smith Sr. Highway St. Marys, GA 31558