HISTORICAL HIKING TRAIL FOR THE MATANZAS INLET AREA
Published and Copywrited by The Historical Society of St.Augustine, March 2001
This Guide is designed for any individual or group, including Florida's fourth graders and all other
students, young and old, tourists, hikers, and/or interested citizens. If the group numbers over 10, please
call the various locations to make arrangements for guides and other accommodations. Telephone numbers
are given. Be aware that such information as telephone numbers and entrance fees are as of this date and
subject to change. It is recommended that large groups be divided into perhaps groups of 5 with a leader
responsible for carrying this guide and using it not only as a guide, but as an instructional tool. A pen or
pencil is needed. HAVING GUIDES WITH WHICH ONE CAN IDENTIFY BIRDS, SMALL
ANIMALS, REPTILES, AND PLANTS WILL BE USEFUL.
First, this guide should be read through by the leaders) who should share the following two paragraphs,
and the Vocabulary and Timeline with the group
Anastasia Island, due to its geographical location, has always played a vital social, economic and political
role in the life, and therefore, the history of St.Augustine. The Hike will be much more meaningful if you
keep these roles in mind as you enjoy the scenery, the history, the habitats, and the recreation. As
Anastasia Island is a narrow eighteen mile long island with a large number of significant sites for study and
for recreation, we have divided the Island into the Northern section and the Matanzas Inlet section. You
may want to use more than one day to complete each.
Please keep the following in mind: TAKE ONLY PICTURES, DO NOT PICK VEGETATION; YOU
WILL BE BY THE OCEAN AND NEAR THE WATER, oceans have tides and undertow; STAY ON
DESIGNATED WALKWAYS so as not to destroy or disturb wildlife, including snakes, and to stay clear
of fire ants, OBSERVE from a distance; REMEMBER THAT ALL PLANTS AND ANIMALS in the
PARKS are protected; USE PROPER RECEPTICLES FOR YOUR TRASH; RESPECT PRIVATE
PROPERTY and the privacy of the residents; BE CAUTIOUS OF THE HIGHWAY as A1A is the only
through highway, and it is busy with high speed traffic and has no sidewalks.
A1A-- the highway that runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean on the barrier islands from the Florida-Georgia
state line to Miami Beach, with occasional detours to the mainland. It may have local names, such as
Ocean Blvd. and stretches of bicycle paths. Parts of it, as in St. Johns and Flagler Counties, have been
designated as a Scenic Drive. Other continents have barrier islands.
Adapt-to adjust by changing so that something can live. You adapt to cold weather by putting on more
Barrier island-an island that runs parallel, or beside, the mainland and separated from the mainland by a
narrow, usually shallow passage of water. Anastasia Island is a barrier island separated from the mainland
by the Matanzas River. Other continents have barrier islands. Name them
If you can not remember, look them up when you arrive home or to school, to a library or to your
Canopy-the cover formed by the upper leafy branches of the trees
Cistern-a container or reservoir for storing water, often this water is rainwater
Conserve-to use in an economical manner so as to protect for the future
Coquina-a rock formed from small pieces of shell. Found on the east coast of Florida where it was
quarried for a building material
Decompose-to rot, to separate into parts A dead tree will decompose into peat.
Dune-a hill of sand, usually formed by wind, helps to protect the shoreline from the powers of the sea.
Economic-describes how items of value, like money, are exchanged, such as wages for work and the
buying and selling of goods and services
Endangered species- one kind of animal whose number is so small that all may die
Environment-your surroundings, such as the forest or an estuary
Estuary-an arm or inlet of the sea found at the mouth of a river
French and Indian Wars-a series of wars among the European nations during the mid 18th century which
involved the European colonies, including those in America which involved the Indians (Native
Americans). It was called this only in the Americas. Its other name was The Seven Years War.
Habitat-the natural environment of a living thing
Hammock-a stabilized dune, an area that will allow large vegetation to grow and thus allow small wild
life to survive
Mammals-animals which are warm blooded, give birth to live offspring, and produce milk
Massacre-the result of the killing of a group of people, a slaughter
Matanzas-the Spanish word meaning slaughter, the killing of a group of people or animals
Mission- in this context, a church run by monks to Christianize the Native Americans
Nocturnal-refers to the night; Raccoons are nocturnal animals because they are active at night.
Parallel-describes two or more lines that run next to each other but never meet
Political-describes who has power and who does not, and that person's relationship to the citizens
Prototype-the first example of something, for example, a model of an invention
Resurrection-the process of coming to life after an appearance of being dead
Siege-a military plan in which an enemy location is surrounded so as to be forced by lack of food, water
and/or a lack of military supplies to surrender
Social-describes how people get along with one another, how groups of people get along with other
groups, and how groups are formed and changed
Strategic-describes a location that is very important, especially in military affairs
Stunted-describes a living thing that for some reason was not allowed to grow to normal size
Transitional-describes a condition that takes place when something is changing; a little bit of this and a
little of that, and gradually becomes all this or that
Timucua-members of the local Native American people
BC-3000-AD 700-Paleo --old, primitive Native Americans occupied most of the Americas
AD 700-1700's-The Timucua inhabited this area of Florida
1513 Ponce de Leon explored Florida
1528 Panifelo de Narvez explored Florida
1539 Hemando de Soto explored Florida, and Spain claimed Florida as its own, although made no
1564 The French plant a settlement at Ft. Caroline near the mouth of the River of May (St.Johns River)
1585 King Philip II of Spain appointed Pedro Menendez de Aviles to lead a colonizing effort in Florida
and to drive the French out. St. Augustine was established and the French moved against the new
settlement. The Massacre at Matanzas Inlet.
1686 The Nicholas Grammont pirate raid: he was turned away at Matanzas Inlet, sailed north, but spying
the stone Castillo, he sailed away to easier prey.
1732 The British under the leadership of James Oglethrope established the colony of Georgia.
1740/41 The British failed in its attempt to invade St.Augustine
1763 The British took control of St.Augustine as a result of the Treaty of Paris which ended the "French
and Indian" Wars.
1783 The Second Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War, returned Florida to Spain.
1821 Spain ceded Florida to the U.S.
1845 Florida became the 45th state
1868 Most of Florida, still a wilderness; Anastasia Island was the home of herds of "marsh tackeys", the
descendants of the Spanish ponies.
1885 Flagler began to transform Florida into a resort
1885 Mr. Burton from Crescent City decided to heed his family's request to "go over near the ocean and
camp for a while". Land was purchased and camps built.
1887 "Summer Haven" with 40 camps, a boarding house, a store and clubhouse, the first summer colony
on Florida's east coast was born. Others followed. The only communication with the "outside" was via
sail and small steamboats. There are rumors of buried treasure.
1894/95 Hurricanes caused the loss of the ocean side homes and a shift in topography at Summer Haven,
which resulted in the deterioration of Summer Haven and growth of Daytona and Jacksonville Beaches.
1920's The Mellon family ofPittsburg, Pa. purchased much of the land in Summer Haven on which they
erected a house, "a fishing camp".
1930's-Claude G. Varnes, a prominent attorney, landowner, and contributor to the progress and
development of eastern Florida, formed the St. Johns County Bridge Company which built Ocean Shore
Boulevard (AlA) from St. Augustine to Daytona Beach, shortening the trip from to Miami by several
1937 Marineland, incorporated as a city,-- Florida's smallest,-- opened as the world's first oceanarium to
be used as an underwater motion picture studio.
1974 Whitney Laboratory founded.
For the purpose of the hike, you are to start at Ft.Matanzas National Monument which is located off A1A
about 14 miles south from The Bridge of Lions in St.Augustine, about 10 miles south of the Rt. 312 Bridge,
or about 3 miles south of the Rt. 206 Crescent Beach Bridge. There is parking on both sides of A1A, but
we will start at the headquarters building on the west. Other available parking lots and restrooms are
located at Marineland and at the Whitney Labs, if you have arranged a tour of the Labs. RESTROOMS
AND PICNIC AREA THE BOAT AND THE FORT ARE NOT HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE, but The
Nature Walk is accessible.
1. Leaders and small groups proceed to the Visitors' Center (it is too small to accommodate more than 4
people at a time) and ask questions and pick up brochures and a Nature Trail Guide for everyone.
Read the section in THIS guide on Ft. Matanzas to the group and be prepared to fill in the following
spaces For those groups who have made special arrangements, it is here that you will pick up your
guide. For others, note the boat schedule ( the boat leaves every hour on the half hour beginning at
9:30 and ending at 4:30) and proceed to the dock, or if waiting, use the time to enjoy the surroundings,
have a soda, and to read your brochure. You will be with a Ranger until you return to Headquarters.
Seeing the 8 minute film is advised.
2. Look at your brochure and discuss the geographic and strategic relationship between the Inlet and the
city of St. Augustine. Our conclusion is
LISTEN to the Ranger, but ASK questions-students, you are earning a grade--- Boy Scouts, a badge!
3. St. Augustine was founded in by the
4. But the settlement was challenged by two other countries, and
5. Spain expelled the French when they
6. Now do you remember what 'Mantanzas' means: it means
7. How were the Spanish at St.Augustine going to protect themselves from the English?
8. The Tower is built of held together by
9. What were the duties of the soldiers at the Tower? to
to as a rest stop, a
and a place to get
10. But its primary mission was
11.The only time the Tower was used militarily was against
Why do you think the Tower was effective?
You will return to the mainland with the Ranger. NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO ASK QUESTIONS.
Once you have returned, asked all your questions, and filled in the Study Guide Section, proceed to the
Restroom building in the parking lot. On the side nearest the entrance into the Nature Trail, you will
discover a bulletin board. Read the information.
12. The "Critter of the Month" is
13. The three habitats you will walk through are
1. 2. 3.
14. Find your Nature Trail brochure and have it ready to use.
The Nature Trail preserves the natural environment as it existed when the first Europeans arrived. As you
walk through imagine yourself trying to survive here. Ten signs have been attached to the fence railing.
You will be expected to stop, read them on the fence or off your Nature Guide, and to observe.
15..Sign 1 An early use of the paw paw fruit was ; today we
use it for
16. Proceed along the path. You are now walking over a dune which is a (Hint, see the Vocabulary list or
your Trail Guide)
and through a hammock, which is a
17. You are now at Sign 2. Look, but do NOT pick, at several leaves of several different plants. NOTE
and discuss how each one conserves moisture. Have you seen a Resurrection Fern? Why is it called
18. Stop at .Sign 3 If you are hiking in the spring you will see many plants and scrubs which have
flowers-this will start a natural chain of events which will ensure survival of both the plants and birds. By
July the flowers will become berries. THINK about this cycle as you will be expected to explain it later.
19. On to Sign 4 Leaves of the Saw Palmetto provide
The flowers provide
Another reason besides those above that the Saw Palmetto survive is that
20. Stop at Sign 5 Orb weavers build their webs in the and are
oriented to catch flying insects. The funnel weavers
build their webs and are shaped like a funnel so to
The golden silk spider is a weaver. Humans have adapted these
structures for their own use. Name one. HINT;
what are ways that we use to catch fish, then and now?
21. Proceed along the pathway into the SCRUB, Sign 6, taking note of the temperature. What happened?
And what caused the change?
22. Why do you think that most of the trees are stunted and not symmetrical?
23. Because this area is found between the hammock and the beach it is called a
zone. Hint: see the Vocabulary List
24. Go to Sign 7 You will not see many animals as they are but you will
see evidence of many. Try to identify the tracks that you see. The Nature Trail Guide will give you hints.
25. Proceed to Sign 8 Why do you think this tortoise is called the gopher tortoise?
26.Proceed to and read the Massacre sign. Sign 9.
27.And then on to Sign 10
Return to the parking lot and the picnic area. You are to rest your feet, but not your brain for your leader
will guide you in some discussion questions. The group is to discuss and come to one, or more
conclusions, which the leader should record on the hiking guide.
28.What is your most vivid memory about the Fort?
29.Would you or would you not enjoy being a soldier in the 1700's in Florida? Why? Or why
30.What might have been the reason why this approach to St.Augustine was attempted only once?
31. Read together Sign 9 which you will find on your Nature Trail Guide. Answer the best you can the
questions found there, and your leader will record them. KEEP IN MIND THE THREE INSTITUTIONS
I WHICH WE LIVE
32. Read together Sign 10 Discuss and come to a consensus which your leader will record.
33. How can all those trees and thick vegetation thrive on the hammocks?
34.Try to fill in the following chains
A few trees
Which provides a habitat for lichens, ferns, spiders, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Which causes more
Which results in more food
Which results in more
35.Explain one way that spiders have ensured survival.
Proceed south along A1A to the next parking lot. Turn westerly and enter, watching for cars coming and
going. Stop and read the sign boards.
36. is considered the lightning capital of the United States because
37. List the 4 safety rules one should follow before and during a lightning storm.
4. DO NOT
38. DO NOT feed the pelicans because
39..Follow the boardwalk a ways and look back at the Tower of Fort Matanzas. Do you want to change
your answer to Question # 13? The white sand bank that you see is a man made deposit of sand which has
come from dredging the Intercoastal Waterway and is used to replenish St.Johns County beaches.
42.Continue on the boardwalk. You are looking at Matanzas Inlet where the river meets the ocean.
Explain what is meant by "ocean cradle".
43.Why is this the most prolific of all the inlets?
PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB THE TERNS: THEY MAY BE NESTING
44. Return to the parking lot and proceed to A1A, cross the highway WITH CAUTION, walk north and
enter the easterly parking lot of The Ft. Matanzas National Monument. Read the information boards. The
walkway is handicap accessible, but THE BEACH WILL NOT BE ACCESSIBLE TO WHEELCHAIRS
45.Here we learn that three types of turtles inhabit these waters: the loggerhead is the
the green is the only turtle that eats
and the is the largest.
Proceed along the walkway stopping to read and discuss the signs.
46. Stop and discuss The Living Dune. Why is it "alive"?
47. Name two endangered species that live on this beach?
48.How many different kinds of animals depend on the burrows of the gopher tortoise?
Name a few.
Proceed to the waterfront.
49. Define a barrier island.
50. How extensive are the barrier islands?
Proceed to the beach, turn south and walk to the end of the island. Go to the bridge and the walkway, and
proceed south crossing the bridge. Once on land, proceed to Old A1A on the east and follow it south. At
first you will see new cottages, then a transitional area and then many turn of the century cottages. This is
SUMMER HAVEN. THIS IS A PRIVATE COMMUNITY SO DO NOT DISTURB THE AREA. Hike
south to the place where Old A1A disappears into the ocean. NOTE: The beach is being/has been
replenished. Observe how the sea and the winds have affected the area.
51.How do you think peoples' lives might have been changed by this hurricane? And others?
Turn around and proceed a block north to Gene Johnson Road; turn and proceed west, noting the street into
the Mellon "camp". REMEMBER THAT THIS IS A RESIDENTIAL AREA. Once this street has been
noted, YOU NEED TO MAKE A DECISION for we are going to head south to Marineland and there are
two approaches: one by returning to New A1A and proceeding south;( WATCH TRAFFIC AND AVOID
FIRE ANTS) and two, by returning to Old A1A and proceeding south via the beach.(CHECK THE TIDE
AND STAY OFF THE DUNES) Perhaps you will want to reverse the hike when you return to your
vehicle. Either way, when hiking the roadway, observe the quanity and quality of the housing and the city
of Marineland. Be prepared to discuss your observations later.
The Marineland Oceanarium complex was the world's first "oceanarium" developed by Cornelius
Vanderbuilt Whitney as an underwater motion picture studio. It was designed to permit movie makers to
produce films of sea life in as controlled an environment as possible. Public interest soon made it one of
Florida's leading tourist attractions. Here for the first time people could view life as it existed below the
water's surface. As an oceanarium, Marineland, unlike aquariums where species were segregated,
replicated an ocean habitat where various marine species lived together. And here marine animals first
displayed entertaining skills taught them by humans. At present it has limited exhibits and programs as it
is undergoing a corporate reorganization, therefore it is recommended that you call for further information.
Many people feel it is worth while, and at this time its future as an historical and educational institution
looks promising. See the back sheet for information. RESTROOMS, ENTRANCE FEE
Across A1A is the Whitney Lab founded in 1974 which is the institute for Marine Biomedical Research
and Biotechnology of the University of Florida. The aims of the Lab are: "to use marine organisms in basic
biological research; to apply, where possible, the novel results of this research to problems of human
health, natural resources and the environment, to train future experimental biologists; to contribute to
public education and to the formulation of policy in basic research and marine science". The Labs are
NOT open to the general public, but have an annual open house, give public lectures, and conduct special
programs for groups and school groups of all levels. SEE THE INFORMATION PAGE for more details.
This is the end of the HISTORICAL HIKE OF THE MATANZAS INLET AREA. We hope that you have
enjoyed the history, the scenery, the recreation and the opportunity of meeting people, and have come
away with a rewarding educational experience. Other Historical Hikes written by the Historical Society
may be obtained from the Historical Society Research Library, The Government House and the Visitors'
Return to your vehicle.
Follow-up discussions: As you have been reminded of before, history is the story of peoples' economic,
social, political, and religious institutions. Only the first three have been evident today. The following are
1. Look at your map of Ft. Matanzas and note the change in the shoreline and recall the disappearance of
A1A at Summer Haven. How could these natural events affect peoples' lives and that of St.
2. The building of Ft Matanzas and the Massacre could be called political, social, and economic events.
3. This hike has been called an Historical Hike. Much of it has been about animals, plants, climate, and
marine life. Can you relate this to the history and the growth of St.Augustine and Florida? Explain. Do
not forget the role of Whitney Labs and Marineland!
4. Discuss the significance of Summer Haver and Marineland and their roles in the history of the area.
Explain why they were prototypes.
Fort Matanzas is free, but donations are appreciated. Open from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. The visitor center is
open when staffing allows, from 9AM to 5 PM. The ferry operates, first come, first served. Swimming is
allowed on the ocean beach, but a pass to drive and park on the beach has to be purchased at the beach
entrance. NO SWIMMING ALLOWED IN THE INLET. Picnic tables and restrooms. For information
contact the Superintendent at 1 East Costillo Drive, St.Augustine,Fl. 32084; E-mail www.nps.gov/foma
Marineland --- Dolphin Encounter $99.99; Dive $65; Snorkel $35; Touch & Feed $19.95 (includes
photo); Photo Opportunity $8; Admission: Adults $12; children age 3-11 $8; seniors age 65+ $10 Show
times 10AM-3:45 PM 9600 Ocean Shore Blvd., Marineland,Fl. 32080 904-460-1275 Fax 904-460-1330
University of Florida, Whitney Marine Labs, 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd. (A1A) St. Augustine, Fl 32086
Tel 904-461-4000 Web site-- www.whitney.ufl.edu for the availability of programs, visitations and
schedules for public lectures,etc..