”Savannas” (also known as freshwater marshes) formerly stretched along much of Florida’s southeastern coastline. This park now protects the coast’s largest remnant of this ecosystem, second in size only to the Everglades. This location was originally a saltwater bay, but as sea level dropped, it gradually became freshwater; today the depth is rarely more than 2 to 4 feet at any point. The savannas are recharged by rainwater; water levels fluctuate and provide refuge for Sandhill Cranes, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills and migratory ducks. Begin your exploration of this site at the Environmental Education Center on Walton Road, where there are over 8 miles of multi-use trails. Pick up a trail map and hike through the flatwoods to the savanna overlook at the north end of the trail, or you can choose to tow your canoe/kayak in and explore by paddle (rentals are also available, but call ahead first). Trails north of Walton Rd. are wheelchair-friendly, and two, trail-ready wheelchairs are available at the education center. Herons, egrets and other waders nest throughout the wetlands. Florida Scrub-Jays are resident at the park; however, these birds are only viewable on guided tours (call for reservations). Hawk’s Bluff Nature Trail, a 1-mile wilderness loop trail located off County Line Road is a must visit to see Purple Gallinules and assorted wading birds. This trail runs by Lake Eden and includes Atlantic Ridge scrub and maritime hammock. Other spots within this large property are available for guided hiking/paddling group tours; contact the park for more details.