Longleaf Pine Preserve includes several natural communities, including mesic and wet flatwoods, cypress strands, cypress domes and scrub.
The preserve, which covers 12,000 acres, has two long marked trails:
The red trail is a six-mile loop that begins and ends at the west entrance of the preserve. Along this trail, visitors may see mesic flatwoods, which are characterized by longleaf pine and slash pine and an understory dominated by saw palmetto and wiregrass. Cypress domes may be recognized along the red trail and throughout the site by the dome-like appearance of their pond cypress tree line. Cypress strands - elongated areas of cypress tree communities - also can be seen in the distance.
The blue trail begins at the east entrance and crosses 10 miles of the preserve. It no longer connects to the red trail, so hikers and equestrians must turn around at the terminus. Signs are posted. The east end of the blue trail traverses through wet flatwoods with an overstory of slash pine and an understory of saw palmetto, gallberry and seasonal wildflowers. The central portion of the blue trail winds through cypress strand swamp. The absence of tall cypress in the central portion is due to heavy logging.
The blue and red marked trails are open to hiking, biking and horseback riding. Portions of the trail are subject to flooding - some areas possibly more than two feet. Although use of the trail when flooded may not be for everyone, traversing this natural site under wet conditions provides an opportunity to observe and experience the character of Florida's vital wet habitats.
Wildlife along the trails may include sandhill crane, great blue heron, river otter, bobcat, coyote, fox, deer, black bear and alligator.
The trails are long with little shade. Visitors should bring water to drink.
Land acquisitions were purchased with funds from the Volusia Forever program and through cooperative efforts with St. Johns River Water Management District, the Florida Department of Transportation and the City of Port Orange. The primary goal for acquiring this conservation land was to provide a large expanse of habitat for wildlife, natural resource conservation and recreation.
We hope you enjoy your visit to Longleaf Pine Preserve.
Volusia County conservation lands are managed using a program of professionally accepted principles of resource and ecosystem management for the benefit of, and enjoyment by, present and future generations.