Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens

Once the site of mid-century mining operations (and an unofficial dumping site), a group of dedicated nature lovers are turning this 125-acre forgotten piece of property into an arboretum. The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens opened to the public in 2008. So far there’s 1 ½ miles of walking trails; the Lake Loop is partially paved and will be made wheelchair accessible.Walking trails wind through upland mixed forest with live oak, mocker nut and pignut hickory, tulip poplar, loblolly pine, longleaf pine, southern magnolia, black cherry, wax myrtle and chinquapin. The Mesic forest, running along the transition between upland and lowland communities and next to the slopes of Jones Creek, have black walnut, loblolly bay (the Jacksonville Arboretum has the national champion loblolly bay), and swamp azalea. The Wetland Forest along spring-fed Jones Creek has tupelo, American hornbeam, swamp dogwood, swamp bay, and a stately bald cypress. A variety of ferns (royal fern, cinnamon fern, net leaf chain fern) line the Jones CreekTrail. Open Thursday –Monday. Private tours by appointment. [ info ]

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