Spruce Bluff Preserve
Spruce Bluff Preserve
4.5
What people are saying
Arielfl
By Arielfl
Hiking trail filled with history
5.0 of 5 bubblesApr 2019
Spruce Bluff Preserve is 97 acres. In the 1990's a community of more than 60 homes was planned for the area but in 1995 the St. Lucie County saved the historic spot by buying the land and making it into one of the county's first preserves, The hiking trail is on the marsh and scrub land in between the houses off Southbend Boulevard along the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. This is one of the more interesting hiking trips I have taken because there is so much history here. If you take the trail from the parking lot about half a mile down you will come to the site that was a pioneer settlement and cemetery along the banks of the St. Lucie River. The trail itself was the roadway for the development that never happened. The area was settled in 1891 after the Second Seminole War ended in 1842. Spruce Bluff founder John Enos Fultz Jr. came from South Carolina to farm pineapples which did well in the sandy soil. Spruce Bluff was a community of several families with a school, post office and sawmill. To make $10 a month Fultz rowed the St. Lucie River to Stuart to deliver the mail to Stuart. In 1894 and 1895 a winter freeze killed the crops and the families moved out of the area. Fultz moved to Ft. Pierce where he became the first Clerk of the Circuit Court for St. Lucie County when it was created in 1905. To find the cemetery look for the two wooden posts on the side of the right hand trail that leads to a sandy trail that takes you to it. The cemetery is surrounded by a fence with a monument. It is owned privately but you are welcome to visit. The seven headstones of the Spruce Bluff pioneers buried inside the fence were vandalized so one monument was put up instead. If you take the trail behind the parking lot it leads to an Ais midden which was their trash dump. Middens are important because they can tell you a lot about the people who lived in the area. This midden has yielded fish bones during excavations. To get to the site you travel along a one mile trail. As you make your way down you come to two boardwalks that cross over the wetlands. The Ais were a tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the Atlantic Coast of Florida from present day Cape Canaveral to the St. Lucie Inlet. They became extinct in the 1760's when they were sold off for slaves or succumbed to disease. The best knowledge we have of these people came from Jonathan Dickinson's journal when he was taken prisoner by them. There is no sign for the mound. It's 20 feet high and 180 feet wide and may be hundred of thousands of years old. If you didn't know it was back there it would just look like a hill. In addition to the hiking trails which can also be biked there is canoe access. A saw a lot of birds on the trail as well as many adorable rabbits. It's an easy hike and the history of this area makes it a very special place to visit.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles16 reviews
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8
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5
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3
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Arielfl
Coconut Creek, FL2,014 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Solo
Spruce Bluff Preserve is 97 acres. In the 1990's a community of more than 60 homes was planned for the area but in 1995 the St. Lucie County saved the historic spot by buying the land and making it into one of the county's first preserves, The hiking trail is on the marsh and scrub land in between the houses off Southbend Boulevard along the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. This is one of the more interesting hiking trips I have taken because there is so much history here.

If you take the trail from the parking lot about half a mile down you will come to the site that was a pioneer settlement and cemetery along the banks of the St. Lucie River. The trail itself was the roadway for the development that never happened. The area was settled in 1891 after the Second Seminole War ended in 1842. Spruce Bluff founder John Enos Fultz Jr. came from South Carolina to farm pineapples which did well in the sandy soil. Spruce Bluff was a community of several families with a school, post office and sawmill. To make $10 a month Fultz rowed the St. Lucie River to Stuart to deliver the mail to Stuart. In 1894 and 1895 a winter freeze killed the crops and the families moved out of the area. Fultz moved to Ft. Pierce where he became the first Clerk of the Circuit Court for St. Lucie County when it was created in 1905. To find the cemetery look for the two wooden posts on the side of the right hand trail that leads to a sandy trail that takes you to it. The cemetery is surrounded by a fence with a monument. It is owned privately but you are welcome to visit. The seven headstones of the Spruce Bluff pioneers buried inside the fence were vandalized so one monument was put up instead.

If you take the trail behind the parking lot it leads to an Ais midden which was their trash dump. Middens are important because they can tell you a lot about the people who lived in the area. This midden has yielded fish bones during excavations. To get to the site you travel along a one mile trail. As you make your way down you come to two boardwalks that cross over the wetlands. The Ais were a tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the Atlantic Coast of Florida from present day Cape Canaveral to the St. Lucie Inlet. They became extinct in the 1760's when they were sold off for slaves or succumbed to disease. The best knowledge we have of these people came from Jonathan Dickinson's journal when he was taken prisoner by them. There is no sign for the mound. It's 20 feet high and 180 feet wide and may be hundred of thousands of years old. If you didn't know it was back there it would just look like a hill.

In addition to the hiking trails which can also be biked there is canoe access. A saw a lot of birds on the trail as well as many adorable rabbits. It's an easy hike and the history of this area makes it a very special place to visit.
Written April 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rita B
Stuart, FL133 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Family
Enjoyed the trail. Beautiful scenery, and I particularly liked the self-guided markers and corresponding info on the brochures. The tombstone was neat as well. Took less than an hour for this side. Will review the AIS Trail separately.
Written April 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellen H
Jupiter, FL60 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Couples
Even on a hot, dry, spring afternoon, we saw a wealth of birds on this trail. The 1-mile loop trail map looked very clear but did not include the many side trails that existed off the trail. This became particularly problematic around the loop at the end of the trail. We easily got sidetracked as the side trails looked more traveled than the main trail. A simple arrow directing walkers would help greatly. We likely had extra water and a compass but our mile walk ended up being over two with our multiple detours.
Written April 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jcburns216
Port Saint Lucie, FL46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Solo
This place is a little hidden treasure
I heard about it through a friend
Went in the afternoon and I was alone on the trail with my dog
One side leads you to the river (north side)
It's a little tricky to navigate back through the south side .... I got totally lost since there is no map of that side
But it's an awesome wooded trail
And a great place to work out on your own!!! I just LOVE it!!!
I wish there were more signs inside the trail
That would help to not get lost but all in all it's pretty awesome!!!
Written September 27, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jimrwells
Lake Wylie, SC225 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016
Spruce Bluff is about 100 acres and it fronts the gated community that I live in on the North Fork of the St Lucie River. It is a Florida nature at its best and is mixture of upland and wetlands, including large bodies of water with wooden foot bridges over them. The park is seperated into 2 sections, the north and the south. The north is the home of a cemetery from an early settlement around the turn of the century. The south is home to one of the largest AIS indian mounds in South Florida and dates back to pre-ceramic time in the 1500 & 1600's. Both trails, at the trail head, have an interpretive brochure numbered with items of interest, such as plants,trees and places of interest, as you walk the trails. There are corresponding numbered markers on the trails, which allows you to more easily read and follow the brochures. The trails are easy to walk and the trails, especially on the south side, are really narrow, wilderness trails that take you back into what the winderness must have been like for the early settlers
Written March 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tony P
Fort Lauderdale, FL6 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Friends
Why is there a fence on this trail?
The cemetery must be really off the beaten track as I could no see it,
as having a landmark to visit makes it more fun.
Written February 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

704kenm
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Couples
While hiking through some of Florida's forest, you get to see ancient Indian burial mound and a small cemetery containing 2 adults and 5 children's remains from the earliest settlers of the area in 1890's.
Written January 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lisasE1177FS
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015
A hidden gem in Port St Lucie. Great for hiking or leisurely walking if you are looking for something to do. Don't miss the ancient burial grounds, which are very interesting and a part of PSL history.
Written July 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Donna S
Florence, WI1,600 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Family
Ranger-led hikes sometimes available by advance reservation. Interesting local history site, an hour or 2 on the trail is about right. Sign posts and printed guide leaflets usually available.
Written February 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Frank G
Hindhead, UK242 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Couples
Visited this lovely little trail on a beautiful sunny day in February. It's about a 20 minute walk (ambling) to do the North Trail. We did not do the South as about 2 minutes into it we were being bitten by bugs so we gracefully retraced our steps. Was amazing to see some sites of the old settlers in the area and we felt we were part of that old history. Very easy to find with our GPS and no charge. A small brochure is provided at the entrance to show you the various (numbered) sites along the way. It's free to keep but we left ours for someone else rather than recycle it in a bin. Would recommend if in the area but don't travel for a long time to see it unless you are a real avid fan of that kind of thing. We did not see any wildlife at all. No restrooms.
Written February 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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