Cathedral of Palms Hike

Saint Marks, Florida

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This picturesque trek in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge joins the Florida Trail as it enters “The Cathedral,” a tall palm forest where fronds form a roof over a gorgeous slice of the Big Bend. The hike continues through secluded forest to reach Shepherd Spring before completing the loop. This longer trek reaps great rewards. It is in places like The Cathedral, where lofty palms create a frond canopy that is reminiscent of a church cathedral. This is a place you have to hike to see and get your boots muddy to feel, a place where your feet squish as you marvel, a place so still and silent as to mock the hurried pace of civilization. The first few miles are easy, tracing closed refuge roads easterly through woods ranging from turkey oaks to bay/gum swamps to longleaf/wiregrass hills.

Cathedral of Palms Hike Professional Review and Guide

"This picturesque trek in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge joins the Florida Trail as it enters “The Cathedral,” a tall palm forest where fronds form a roof over a gorgeous slice of the Big Bend. The hike continues through secluded forest to reach Shepherd Spring before completing the loop.

This longer trek reaps great rewards. It is in places like The Cathedral, where lofty palms create a frond canopy that is reminiscent of a church cathedral. This is a place you have
to hike to see and get your boots muddy to feel, a place where your feet squish as you marvel, a place so still and silent as to mock the hurried pace of civilization. The first few miles are easy, tracing closed refuge roads easterly through woods ranging from turkey oaks to bay/gum swamps to longleaf/wiregrass hills."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Saint Marks
Distance: 6.2
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Season: October through April
Local Maps: USGS Spring Creek
Driving Directions: Directions to Cathedral of Palms Hike

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May 2018