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Flagler County offers a great array of outdoor activities for families in a tranquil setting and close to home. You won’t find high rise buildings lining the beaches in Flagler County, but rather county parks all along the shoreline. You can check out the live beach cam at https://www.visitflagler.com/beaches/. There are also more than 125 miles of trails for walking, biking and hiking.
The Lehigh Trail is located on a former railroad corridor comprising 195 acres. The railroad spur once carried cement and other materials to and from the Lehigh Portland Cement Plant in Flagler Beach. The trail connects US 1 north of Bunnell with Colbert Lane, running through the center of Palm Coast, through Graham Swamp and ending just west of the old Lehigh Portland Cement Company. Surrounded by trees for most of the way, the trail provides a safe place for families to walk or bike and, it’s wheelchair accessible.
In the 3,000-acre conservation zone of Graham Swamp the trail has elevated views of the surrounding wetlands. Watch here for some of Florida's wildlife species, including wading birds, waterfowl, deer, otters, foxes and alligators.
The trail is 6.9 miles long and has three access points: Colbert Lane, Old Kings Road and Belle Terre Parkway, all of which are approximately 1.5 miles north of SR 100.
Parking on the western end is available at the intersection of Royal Palms Parkway and Belle Terre Parkway, and on the southwest side of Palm Coast. The trailhead is just south of Royal Palms on the east side of Belle Terre.
The Flagler Beach Pier at 215 S. Oceanshore Blvd. stretches 806 feet into the Atlantic Ocean and is a great spot for fishing or bird watching. Bing’s Landing at 5862 N. Oceanshore Blvd. is an eight-acre park located within a maritime oak hammock along the Intracoastal Waterway.
The park houses a boat launch, fishing pier, picnic and playground facilities, and an archaeological dig of the Mala Compra Plantation. Previously the plantation home of Brigadier General Joseph Hernandez — Florida’s first voice in the U.S. Congress and also its first Hispanic member. General Hernandez purchased the 724-acre MalaCompra Plantation in 1816 for $1,500. The plantation was destroyed in 1836 by the Seminoles during the Second Seminole War.
For family dining, try the tin-roofed JT's Seafood shack at 5224 N Oceanshore Blvd, just a short distance from Bing’s Landing for lunch or dinner. There are several restaurants near the Flagler Beach Pier that offer vies of the ocean. The Funky Pelican at the foot of the Flagler Beach Pier serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The reasonably priced Java Joint Beachside Grill at 2201 N Oceanshore Blvd. is open for breakfast and lunch and offers a great variety of menu choices.. Entrees on the kids’ menu run $2.99 - $4.29.
If you want to make a weekend of it instead of a day trip, you can rent a cabin at the Beverly Beach Camptown RV Resort. The resort is situated on both sides of A1A. If you want to on the side of the ocean, be sure to request a beachfront or ocean view cabin. Excluding holidays, rates at this time of year range from $110 to $170 a night, depending on the cabin and day of week. For more information, visit them at beverlybeachcamptown.com or call 386-439-3111.
Richard D. Carlson