Salt Springs Alliance
Citizen Support Organization for
Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park

Black Rail Trail

See trail guide below ... click on camera icons for photos at that location.

The Black Rail trail is so named because of the small endangered birds of that name that are found in the coastal salt marshes at the end of the trail and throughout the Park. The "Black Rail" is a small bird that is rarely seen, and prefers running through the dense marsh grasses instead of flying to escape attack. The best time to observe them is at high tide when the birds must move to higher clear areas to escape the water, making them easier to see - both for bird watchers and predators. For more complete information about the Black Rail population at Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, see the Florida Field Naturalist report.

The trail is an easy 1/4 mile walk - 1/2 mile round trip from the parking area. You may not see any Black Rails, but keep your eye out for more common birds in the area such as Osprey, Egrets, Heron, Kingfishers and Hawks.

  1. Parking area - at the west end of State Road 52.
  2. Visit the small kiosk before starting your hike to get more information about the variety of birds you might see.
  3. Black Rail trailhead. You can also view the salt marsh at the end of the road, but the trail's end offers a more pristine view.
  4. Walk through the flatwoods area, very little of which has survived development. The Park now permanently protects this border of the coastal marsh.
  5. From this point you have an unobstructed view of the coastal marsh and salt flats. The Gulf of Mexico lies unseen a mile to the west.

Note that the path continues beyond the end of the marked trail and into the marsh area. Please do not venture beyond the end of trail marker so as not to disturb the natural habitat and any birds that might be nesting in the area.

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