Scenic Drives of Florida’s Space Coast – South Tropical Trail, Merritt Island to Indian Harbor Beach

Again within the late 1960s after I first moved to Florida, South Tropical Path was a slender winding two lane roadway beginning on the West finish of Mather’s Bridge which connects Indian Harbor Seashore to the South tip of Merritt Island, and wound alongside the western fringe of the island northward to the extra populated middle of Merritt Island close to State Street 520. Mather’s Bridge on the time was an previous wood bridge that I spent my youth fishing from and on the west finish on Merritt Island sat the previous Mather’s bridge Fish Camp. Alongside the path, massive houses nestled amongst massive properties on the east aspect of the street stretched from the Banana River shore westward throughout the path to the Indian River. These “estates” have been damaged up by undeveloped properties with jungle-like vegetation, giving a mysterious otherworldly aura to this a part of the island. There have been additionally a number of city legends in regards to the Path, together with the “Haunted Home”, an historical, dilapidated, and deserted nursing house allegedly nonetheless haunted by the residents who died there. There was the “Madman with the Machete”, a supposedly insane man who prowled the path on foot at evening, in search of unsuspecting youngsters parked in vacant tons. Then there was the “Woman within the Glass Coffin”, whereas the story goes, a person raises his blind daughter till she dies tragically in her younger teenagers. The daddy, distraught over her demise and lifelong of blindness entombs his daughter’s physique above floor on their property in a glass coffin in order that “she won’t must spend eternity in darkness as she spent her brief life”. Then there was our personal model of “Lifeless Man’s Curve”, a piece of the path the place a better than regular quantity deadly visitors accidents occurred, often youthful drivers displaying off late at evening. The alleged “Haunted Home” was there, ghosts or not, as was “Lifeless Man’s Curve, a slender curve on the sting of the Indian River Lagoon lined with thick bushes. The “Woman within the Glass Coffin” was a narrative you at all times heard third hand, I by no means met anyone who had truly seen her or may inform precisely the place she was, and I by no means personally met the “Machete Madman”.

Nevertheless, with that mentioned, the drive between State Street 520 in Merritt Island Southward to Mather’s Bridge, which connects the South tip of Merritt Island to Indian Harbor Seashore is among the most attention-grabbing drives alongside the House Coast of East central Florida, and will be pushed in three sections, nevertheless for my part it will get higher the farther south you go together with the southernmost part being one of the best.

The northernmost entry is from State Street 520 Causeway on the first stoplight east of the Indian River Bridge from Cocoa. If approaching from the east will probably be the following stoplight west of the intersection of 520 and South Courtenay Parkway. Heading South from 520, South Tropical Path will wind by way of principally residential neighborhoods for the primary Three miles, however as soon as previous that, the path runs alongside the jap shoreline of the Indian River lagoon providing expansive views of this most biologically numerous estuary whereas to the east of the street, excessive finish home-sites dominate. This can proceed for a bit of over 2 miles at which level the path turns to the east to fulfill up with South Courtenay Parkway, the place it once more turns to the south and South Courtenay Parkway or State Street Three turns into South Tropical Path or County Street 3.

The second leg, which will be accessed by straight by South Courtenay Parkway if you happen to want to bypass the primary leg, will at first undergo residential on each side of the street however in a short time begins to hug the Banana River to the east providing nice views of this lovely river, whereas to the west, lovely houses on expansive tons are the rule.

The third or southernmost leg begins because the path passes beneath Pineda Causeway and will be accessed or exited at this level. That is additionally probably the most scenic portion of the drive because the path now begins to hug the Indian River Lagoon shoreline to the west. The island is thinner right here and most of the owners alongside this stretch personal the property from the Banana River to the Indian River and tropical foliage abounds whereas enticing gazebos and docks line the shoreline. The views are spectacular, particularly in direction of sundown. South Tropical Path ends at Mather’s Bridge and at this level the island is just not a lot wider than the street, because it turns to the east throughout the bridge, turning into Banana River Drive getting into Indian Harbor Seashore.

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