There are two hiking and nature trails within the town of Cedar Key, Florida and several other nearby trails in the Cedar Keys Preserve and Lower Suwanee River Wildlife Refuge.
Cedar Key Railroad Trestle Nature Trail
This is an easy walk (2/3 of a mile round trip) along a peninsula that was part of the railroad bed of a passenger and freight railway that served Cedar Key from 1861 to 1932. Several dozen plants, trees, and wildflowers are labeled and described along the trail. Bayou and marsh on either side of the trail make it quite secluded and good habit for songbirds, waterfowl, and butterflies. Ospreys are a common sight overhead. While the display board at the beginning of the trail provides some of the history of the railroad, more historical background can be had at the history center at the corner of 2nd and D streets in downtown Cedar Key.
Cemetery Point Trail & Boardwalk
The 1200 feet long boardwalk section of the trail starts near the entrance to the Cedar Key Cemetery and runs through a marsh land adjacent to one the back bays and channels of the keys providing an opportunity to see waterfowl and osprey. The boardwalk ends when it accesses Cemetery Point Park where the trail then winds through several exercise stations of the fitness trail that is in the park. While the walk is a pleasant nature trail stroll, those looking for more strenuous exercise can follow the posted routines at each of the fitness stations.
Shell Mound and Dennis Creek Trails
Shell Mound and Dennis Creek Trails are in the Shell Mound Unit of the Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge about a 7 mile drive from Cedar Key. The Dennis Creek Trail is a 1 mile loop with a boardwalk that leads from the mainland, across 3 bridges over a salt barren, to a coastal island and then returns. There is an observation deck overlooking a fresh water pond. It is a very easy walk with interesting changes in scenery.
The Shell Mound Trail is a short loop to the top of the mound that is 28 feet above sea level. The mound was built from accumulation of shells and bones deposited there by ancient native peoples who may have used it for various ceremonies. A path off the Shell Mound Trail leads to a boardwalk and fishing pier (see photo at the top of this page) that looks out over a bayou of Suwanee Sound.
Shell Mound RV Campground & Park
Nearby within walking distance of these two trails is Shell Mound County Park with a boat launch, picnic area, and RV sites. See more information about camping at Shell Mound Park here.