Image by Brendan O'Connor
Describe in one word: Scrubby!
Info/cost: Sunrise to sunset; Lyonia Preserve, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona; 386-736-5927, volusia.org; free
It lasted: 1-3 hours (depending on how fast you walk)
Lyonia Preserve was once a big old beach back in the dinosaur days. Now that the waters have retreated, the remaining ridge is one of the highest points in Florida and home to an endemic species of jay. Scrub jays, as the birds are called, stay in family packs and they’re super smart. They love to check out hikers, just like the little “compies” from the second Jurassic Park (the cute ones that eat the girl on the beach), and follow you along the hiking trails looking for food – which is against the rules, by the way. Don’t feed the animals, y’all. There are just over four miles of trails in the 360-acre preserve, and we recommend taking the longest one, which brings you to the top of the biggest hill in the park and through some of the prettiest scrubland in Central Florida.