Friday, May 30, 2008

Alpine Groves Park

Alpine Groves Park is a nice little nature preserve stretching between SR13 and the St. Johns River in the Switzerland area. The best way to get there is to head south down San Jose from 295 until you're sure you're completely lost and should turn back... it'll be about a mile or two after that.

Gaillardia pulchella

Whoever named the park was a little confused as there is nothing "alpine" about the place nor anything else in Florida but perhaps it's a reference to it being located in the Switzerland region. Regardless of the semantic gaffe, Alpine Groves Park is a nice place for any nature or history lover to spend a few hours.

Up front there is a butterfly garden stocked with some beautiful flowers to attract nectar loving insects (great fare for photographers). Plenty of picnic tables make Alpine Groves a good place for a picnic and for parents of young ones there is a shaded playground.

Passiflora incarnata

In our walk along the trail to the river and back we encounter quite a few wildlife specimens including a hawk and an eyed click beetle. At the end of the trail there are some old buildings that are currently being renovated and a lovely view of the St. Johns River. The kayak ramp looks like a good way to get into the river if you can get over the fear of being attacked by alligators.

I don't know any of the details as the information on the website is severely lacking but there seems to be regular events held down around the historic buildings and pavilion. Nice little park for those looking to spend a leisurely day outside.

Alaus oculatus

Alpine Groves Park

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