There is a new reason to explore the Salt Creek spur road off the Dixie Mainline, a 1/3 mile loop trail has recently been cut and sign posted. The loop offers three vistas across the salt marsh, a fresh water marsh pond and several stately grand-daddy live oak trees.
Furrows are apparent when you walk the trail. Daniel Barrand, Refuge Forester, says they are evidence of past timber planting. He also points out a higher windrow about half way around the trail that was made by raking and piling logging debris into a long row. He says the refuge once experimented by knocking down a windrow and found that many of the long-dormant native seeds sprouted. What was once an unwanted plant is welcome again. Daniel Barrand is pleased to see so much plant diversity as we walk the Salt Creek loop trail including native blueberry, persimmon, cedar and wire grass.
While you are parked, visit the Salt Creek fishing/observation platform. Bald eagles often nest on the island across the creek from the platform.
Fire: More than 2,000 acres, mostly in Levy County, have been treated with prescribed burning since January.
Forests: On the Dixie County side, where weather has not been as good for prescribed burning, with the help of the Refuge's new Cat more than 70,000 legacy trees have been planted.
Need information: Refuge Manager Andrew Gude can be reached by text or phone at 703.622.3896.
The Refuge is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Visitors are welcome to walk or bicycle around yellow Refuge gates.
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