Canaveral National Seashore Nature Trails

New Smyrna Beach, Florida

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The distance from the Florida/Georgia border to Key West is more than 500 miles. For all that distance, the longest stretch of undeveloped beach remaining on Florida’s east coast is the 25-mile strip of barrier island known as Canaveral National Seashore. When the Kennedy Space Center was developed on Merritt Island in the early 1960s, NASA found it had far more land than it needed. So, NASA invited two other government agencies to help manage the area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge as a sanctuary for wintering waterfowl in 1963, and in 1975 the National Park Service created Canaveral National Seashore. The Seashore’s close connection to the space program is still obvious: its southernmost boundary is in plain view of one of the space shuttle launch pads.

Canaveral National Seashore: Nature Trails Professional Review and Guide

"The distance from the Florida/Georgia border to Key West is more than 500 miles. For all that distance, the longest stretch of undeveloped beach remaining on Florida’s east coast is the 25-mile strip of barrier island known as Canaveral National Seashore. When the Kennedy Space Center was developed on Merritt Island in the early 1960s, NASA found it had far more land than it needed. So, NASA invited two other government agencies to help manage the area.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge as a sanctuary for wintering waterfowl in 1963, and in 1975 the National Park Service created Canaveral National Seashore. The Seashore’s close connection to the space program is still obvious: its southernmost boundary is in plain view of one of the space shuttle launch pads."

Activity Type: Fishing, Hiking
Nearby City: New Smyrna Beach
Distance: 1
Trail Type: Several options
Access: Easy
Duration: 30 minutes
Season & Limits: Fall through early spring
Local Contacts: Canaveral National Seashore
Driving Directions: Directions to Canaveral National Seashore: Nature Trails

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May 2018