Today, we checked out Wiregrass Prairie Preserve, located in Osteen. We had been wanting to check this place out for a while, so we decided today was the day. We have done both the orange and the yellow trails.
Wiregrass Prairie Preserve has three loop trails that you can take (1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles). There are two entrances where you can pick up these trails:
- Rudman Rd. To reach Rudman Rd, it's about a 4-mile drive off of Pell road (which is off of Osteen Maytown Rd). You will see a nursery on the corner on the right. Once you turn onto Rudman, it's about a mile back to the parking area where the trail head is. This is where you find the yellow trail, which is a 3-mile loop. It's a service drive trail, but it is well marked with signs so you know where the trail goes. It leads through the woods and back to a primitive camping area. If you are looking for primitive camping, this looks like a great place! The camp area is open, has a large bonfire area, and plenty of space to set up a group of tents. There are no restroom facilities, but there is potable water. There is no shade along this 3-mile trek, so it is advisable to do it in the winter months, when it is cooler.
- Lopez Rd. This parking area and trail head is located at 1751 Lopez Road, which is 1 mile past where you would turn onto Rudman Rd. There are two loop trails at this parking area (1 mile and 2 mile). Again, they are open and not shaded, so it is best to stick with cooler months for hiking them. The orange trail is across from the parking area. The whole trail is not clearly blazed, but you shouldn't get lost, because it all seems to lead back and around to the same area, just stay on the clear cut path. About .6 miles back on the orange trail there is a large picnic table area that is covered, so you can stop to take in the view and/or have a picnic. The orange trail is half shady, half out in the open.
Note regarding map directions:
If you have your Google map on and put in Wiregrass Prairie Preserve and you are not in Osteen it's going to take you down a path by Lake Ashby. It's some kind of back entrance that makes it difficult to get to. I don't know why it sends people this way, but we tried it and turned around. There are big areas of deep soft sand and we saw someone stuck in it. Instead of going the way by Lake Ashby, drive over to where the overpass is for the Osteen pedestrian trail, which is off of 415. Right by that trail you will turn onto New Smyrna Road and take that back five miles to Pell Road turn to go to Rudman or Lopez (another four miles back). If you put your map on when you are by the Osteen pedestrian overpass you will have no problem easily finding it. It's about 9 or so miles back from that, but it's an easy route.
Wiregrass Prairie Preserve is very nice and offers some great shorter hikes for the family. The mostly even terrain makes it ideal for hiking, off-road biking, and I would think you could also push a sturdy stroller on it. The land has slash pine, cypress domes, lots of saw palmetto, and there is wiregrass on the blue trail.
If you are looking for a shorter trail to do with the kids and will be near Osteen, consider checking out Wiregrass Prairie Preserve!