The best access to the Sam’s House Nature Trails is from the Sam’s House Historical Site located off N Tropical Trail. Hours are limited, so check ahead before you visit. If the area is closed, than you must access the trails from the Pine Island Conservation Area which is about 6 miles away by car.
The EEL Group have invested a great deal of time and money in developing well blazed trails which they have associated with their main attraction “Sams House”.
We started the hike behind Sam’s house to the left of the “20,000 Years Ago” presentation. You’ll find a white blazed post take it!
Continue on the white blazed trail, bearing to the right until you see the garnet (maroon) blazed trail. This trail winds through some very picturesque areas.
You will see salt marshes, Spanish moss covered trees, major palmettos, man-made canals and many other Florida related items and scenes. The EEL people have constructed very nice boardwalks over most of the potential wet areas.
After about 2 miles, you’ll pop out in the Pine Island Conservation Area. This is a series of 3 lakes where fishing and hiking is allowed. In addition to several small alligators, we saw a very large gator on one of the marshes.
Continue around the first lake on the left as the right way has a green fence blocking that side. We came upon the entrance and decided to hike left at the sign – boy was I glad we did! This beautiful walk leads to a “T” in the road – left, was a nice looking trail for another day. Right took us to another “T” right was, again, a trail for another day – left we took and it weaved between a canal and the power lines ultimately coming out to an amazing water view and two benches to eat lunch.
We stopped our hike here and after lunch headed back. Retrace your steps back to the garnet blazed trail entering the canopy. we eventually met the white blazed loop trail and this time went right. Left would take you back, I suggest going to the right until you hit the blue blazed trail. Take that right to a scenic overlook of the Indian River. Another great place for lunch – if you have a blanket to lay out.
After enjoying your view backtrack the blue blazed trail until you hit the white blazed trail again turning right, back to Sam’s House. If Sam’s House is open, I recommend a walk around the home is very small with two lofts – in “their day” up to twelve people lived in this small home.
Before you leave take the short red blazed trail off the concrete walkway which will take you to a spot where you can observe active Bald Eagles!
Breeding season begins in November and December – babies are likely in the nest January thru march and beyond.