For Joe and me, we’ll do things just to say that we did it. That’s how I got to spend my last “birthday that ended with a zero” in Cuba – because Obama had finally opened the gates. Granted, my dad had gone back in the early 50s and said it was beautiful, which was another reason why I wanted to go. But my main reason? “Because I could.”
We’ve also been known to do tours of places where we say, “Could be awesome, could suck.” Cases in point, respectively, were this great tour, and this museum, both in New Orleans. And, of course, you can’t forget this post, which is my review of a popular, well-liked tourist attraction that I thought, well, stunk.
But we think we’ve now reached a new low.
We were on our way home from Disney’s Vero Beach Resort when we passed a sign for the “Historic Jungle Trail.”
We had passed the sign a few times in the past and expressed some passing interest in seeing what it was (yes, I did just write that sentence). I mean it had the word “historic” in it, so it had to be SOMETHING, if it had lasted long enough to be considered historic, right? But something always stopped us. Either it was getting dark, or we had somewhere to go, or didn’t have enough time or…something.
But none of those things applied this time. It was only late morning and we were on our way home (about 90 minutes away) with no plans for the rest of the day. So we decided to check it out.
It’s free, so there are no tickets to buy or anything. Once you turn onto the trail from the main road, you’re on it and you just….go.
So yeah, we started driving on the trail. And continued to drive on the trail. And drove on it some more. There really wasn’t much to see. In fact, to borrow some lyrics from a certain song, there were plants and birds and rocks and things (and trees. LOTS of trees) but that really was about it. Take a look at these 60 mind-boggling seconds of footage we took (sorry for the dead bugs on the windshield, y’all):
Seriously, that’s all we saw, give or take, for the entire trail.
Well, there was that one tree in the road.
And when we went past walkers, bicyclists or other cars, we’d wave.
You could see there were big ol’ opulent houses beyond the trees in some places, but as car passengers, the trees blocked any decent view of them.
So yeah, that was…it. For 8 mind-numbing miles.
What IS this place?
According to TrailLink, which is a national register of trails intended for walking and biking, “The Historic Jungle trail winds for nearly 8 miles along a sandy road through the hammock habitat of Florida’s barrier islands north of Vero Beach. … Although cars do drive along the road, it’s mostly used by cyclists, walkers and joggers. The road is sandy but mostly hard-packed and easy-going for wide-tire bicycles.” The trail passes through hammocks of palms and other coastal wetland species, as well as gated communities of big ol’ opulent homes, and the shores of Indian River Lagoon.
OK, so that tells us what it is in terms of being a trail. But the historic part?
Turns out what is now considered a trail was once a road. It was built in the 1920s for the citrus growers on Orchard Island to transport their fruit. And WAAAAAY back when, it was adjacent to Highway A1A, which is how it got its “historic” moniker (for reals! It’s even listed on the National Register of Historic Places!). More info, including a map and historic pictures, can be found here.
To be honest, we were vastly underwhelmed. From Joe. The Jungle Trail starts (or ends) in the Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge. If you’re curious about what that means, then check out this article.
Again, driving on the trail was free, so it’s not as if we could ask anyone for a refund. But with a posted maximum speed of 15mph, it was roughly 30 minutes of our lives that we’ll never be able to get back.
But I guess we can say that we did it.
And that we don’t recommend you do ;-).
As always, Your Mileage May Vary 😉
Feature Photo: B Rosen // flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary