Today, we decided to take a hike at Tiger Bay State Forest, located in Daytona Beach. Tiger Bay State Forest offers primitive camping, an equestrian camping area, trails, and more. You can drive through, as well as park and take some trails. We opted to walk the Buncombe Hill Interpretative Trail, which is a 1.9 mile long loop trail. You can access the Buncombe Hill Interpretative Trail from the US-92 entrance, which is on Indian Lake Rd (past the outdoor shooting range). There are signs showing you where to go. Once you enter the Tiger Bay State Forest, there is a display sign and sign-in area on the left. Then drive down about a mile to access the Buncombe Hill Interpretative Trail.
There is a $2 fee per person over the age of 6. There is a fee stand, where you get an envelope, deposit the funds, and put the tag in your window, showing that you paid. There is a covered pavilion area where you can have a picnic and grill, and there is a nice dock you can walk out on. There is a beautiful view! We walked out there and just took the sounds of nature, hearing lots of frogs off in the distance. After our hike, we enjoyed sitting at the pavilion to eat a snack and take in the views and sounds. There is also a big port-a-potty available. It was clean, but there was no toilet paper (I always carry some in my backpack).
The trail begins on the other side of the parking area. You can sign in and then get started. The trail takes you through the forest and winds around to bring you back to the parking lot area. The trail is very well blazed, so you should have no problem finding your way. We saw many animal tracks and enjoyed the forest views. There are a few places where the trail cuts across service roads, so just pay attention to where you pick it back up. The signage and blazes are great throughout the whole thing. At around the .9 mile area, there were two trees down over the trail. You could cut back to the service road and make your way around them, to head back to the main trail. Or you can do what we did, which was to climb over them. I'm hoping someone removes them, because with the exception of that one spot, the entire trail is very well maintained and clear. But if there are elderly people making their way along the trail, they may have difficulty getting over or around it, and I'd hate for them to have to turn back and miss the second half of the trail.
The Buncombe Hill Interpretative Trail is only 1.9 miles long, so even the younger kids should be able to do it with no problem. A good portion of it was shaded from the tree canopy, and being that it's hiking season (November-April) there were no bugs biting us as we made our way through. Once we were done hanging out at that area near the tables and water, we took a ride through the forest. You can drive through there on any street that is named (so you can't go on unnamed service roads). The ride through there was nice, too. We drove all the way down to the other entrance off of SR-40.
If you are looking for a nice place to take the kids on a hike and to have a picnic afterward, Buncombe Hill Interpretative Trail is a good option!
Here are pictures from our hike today: