Explore McCarty Ranch Preserve on your next family adventure
I have been trying to squeeze in every last quality moment with my daughter before she returns to school.
Each afternoon this past week we have embarked on a local adventure exploring new places and making memories together. One of our goals was to visit some of the area parks and preserves we had never been to before.
One day we drove to McCarty Ranch Preserve at 12525 Range Line Road in Port St. Lucie. Although my daughter has been there to ride horses with her trainer and friends, I never had visited the property. The 3,107-acre preserve, named in honor of the influential McCarty family, includes a variety of old-Florida habitats. There are hiking trails, bike trails and two multi-use loops, which are 3.1 miles and .75 miles a piece.
Key West is among the top five places for walking and biking. View the video.
If you go, make sure you pay attention to the directions (the preserve is 4 miles south on Range Line Road from the intersection of Range Line and Glades Cut Off Road). Our GPS led us in the wrong direction, but once we approached the ranch, we easily spotted the entrance. Upon entering, travel 2 miles and you’ll arrive at the welcome center and public restrooms.
We parked at the main canoe/kayak launch and rode our bikes along the Loop A trail, which runs along Lake John. We stopped at Lake Dan, which also is the location of the disc golf field. Although disc golf is not included on the pamphlet map, there are signs when you drive north along Loop A.
We were impressed with how well the preserve was maintained. Although the Loop A trail does not have shade, the hiking trails (one-tenth mile and one-eighth mile) were shaded by the natural landscape. Although it was warm, the bike ride was beautiful and we enjoyed each other’s conversations as we pedaled. I look forward to going back in the fall when it is cooler and exploring Loop B, just south of Lake Brian.
Fishing is allowed in two of the lakes (John and Dan), which would be fun from a kayak or canoe. Boats with one sealed electric motor also are allowed in the two lakes, with the proper permits.
Exploring this ranch preserve was a great way to spend quality time as a family and I hope you have a chance to visit the area soon. I will give a full report in coming weeks on the fun we had at three St. Lucie County preserves we also explored.
Jennifer M. Trefelner writes about St. Lucie County for #TCPalmSocial. Email her at email@example.com.