Beware the Red Trail. Seven multi/use (Hiking/Equestrian) trails wind through at least 3 distinct habitats in the Savage/Christmas Creek Preserve’s 1126 acres. The longest of these is the Red Trail @ 2.15 miles. This is the only trail on the map that is marked as seasonal…and for good reason.
This hike was on a cold (by Orlando standards — low 40s), overcast December day. I wanted to combine the 7 trails to both explore this preserve completely and get in a fairly significant day hike. To do so meant that I would have to hike the seasonal Red Trail. I wore only my Reeboks, so I wasn’t prepared to go swamping, but I had to check it out…after all, it was mid-December.
Sometimes the lowlands are dry or dry-ish by this time of year. Not this year. The habitat of the Red Trail is mud. Wet with lots of mud. Check out the Photo Gallery and the WonderMap (below) — you’ll see what I mean. I did a good job of avoiding most of the mud and even kept dry until maybe mid-way. The water is only a few inches in depth, but there was no way to avoid getting my feet soaked.
But I’d worn wool socks, so I sloshed on with warm feet. The rest of the trails were high and dry, except a short section of the White Trail, which was a bit muddy, but nothing like the Red Trail. Many areas have been intentionally burned in the not-so-distant past. Other areas are vast pastures, scrub, hardwood forests and pine flatwoods.
It was a nice dayhike, because hiking anywhere is better than being at the office desk. That said, the most outstanding feature here is its designation as a Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail site…and that’s reason enough to check it out. But there’s no pond or lake, and if there’s a creek, I never saw it.
This preserve, however, is part of a much larger green package that wraps itself around Christmas (FL), including: Orlando Wetlands Park, Seminole Ranch Wildlife Management Area and Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. Together these public lands cover more than 60,000 acres. Not bad for a town with a population that’s barely over 1,000.
Know Before You Go! >> Check out the Photo Gallery, WonderMap and other info. See if this is a place you might like to explore. If so, go! If not, check out our Bucket List and Where-to-Go to find the perfect spots for you.
PS: On the Park Brochure the trail marked as “Proposed Trail” is actually now the White Trail.
Savage/Christmas Creek Preserve WonderMap. TIP >> Click on the waypoint flags for GPS location photos.
Savage/Christmas Creek Preserve
11046 NW Christmas Road