Biking Malabar Scrub Sanctuary


Promising 10 miles of premium single track winding through a nice variety of ecosystems, I was anxious to ride the Malabar Scrub Sanctuary. An added bonus is  another 5 miles of trails just down the street at Jordan Scrub Nature Sanctuary.

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Mother Nature had other ideas. She decided that about 3 1/2 miles is all I was going to get to ride. And although it was a bright, sunny day, we’d had rains back to back for a few days…although I didn’t think we’d had all that much rain. Somehow, I think this area got dumped on especially hard, because the water wasn’t just high, it was fast moving in several places.

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In truth, I expected to run into some wet areas — it’s low-lying coastal land, and we did have recent rains. Not to mention that an updated trail map showed a “New Blue Trail” described as “High and Dry.” That kind of tipped me off that at least some of the main Yellow Trail may be low and wet.

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Nevertheless, I forged ahead. I’ve ridden through plenty of wet areas. Crossed streams. Plowed through muck. But the water I ran into here was a roadblock — swiftly moving, even over a boardwalk that’s supposed to be high and dry. One section of trail actually became a stream, though shallow enough and hard-bottomed, so I was able to ride downstream until I hit dry trail again.

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Since these trails are broken up into an eastern section and a western section, with other trailheads at various points, I thought I’d try the Malabar Community Park and Trailhead. Here, even the parking lot was flooded. OK, well, maybe Jordan Scrub would be different. Not. 3 strikes. I’m out. Time to go home.

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Still, the 3 1/2 miles I did ride were really nice trails, well maintained and well marked. Kudos to the Brevard Mountain Bike Association (BMBA). I definitely plan to come back…after an extended dry period. Like maybe in February.

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Check out the Photo Gallery, videos, slideshow, ride map, and links provided. It really is a beautiful place — and one of Brevard County’s EEL properties (Environmentally Endangered Lands), set aside to protect precious habitats. Not what you’re looking for? See our Bucket List and Where-to-Go for more great places to get your outdoors on. Then go get your outdoors on!

Malabar Scrub Sanctuary, 815 Briar Creek Blvd., Palm Bay (28.010786,-80.596712)

Jordan Scrub Nature Sanctuary, 2345 Marie St., Malabar (27.986021,-80.573244)

Slideshow >>