hiking trails

Once Upon a Time, a Princess Lived Here – Princess Place Preserve, Palm Coast, Florida

A Royal History

The beautiful home that sits on the now Princess Place Preserve property was first built as an  Adirondack Camp Style Hunting Lodge in 1887 by Henry Cutting. Cutting constructed the lodge using materials found locally. The lodge building itself was built using pink coquina mined from the nearby beaches in Flagler County, and its inviting wrap-around porch is supported by cedar and palm trunks that serve as the columns.

After the death of Henry Cutting, his widow, Angela, met and married an exiled Russian Prince, Boris Sherbatoff, and the lodge became a royal residence. Thus the name Princess Place. In 1993 Flagler County purchased the land, and in August of 1994, it was dedicated as the Princess Place Preserve.

Watch the video to get a better view of our visit

The Preserve – A Crown Jewel on Florida’s East Coast

Princess Place is 1500 acres of natural old Florida situated on the northern side of Flagler County, where Pellicer Creek and the Matanzas River meet. Its scenic beauty is fitting for royalty, but you don’t have to be a prince or princess to enjoy its outdoor splendor.

John and I hiked 3 different trails totaling a little over 3 miles on our visit. On the oak trail, we walked a paved surface through a mature oak forest along the saltwater marshes on the Styles and Pellicer Creeks banks. We got an amazing view of the bay and surrounding estuaries on the short but beautiful Legacy Trail. On the 1-mile Artesian Trail, we were treated to a quick view of an American Bald Eagle. Unfortunately, he heard us before we saw him, and we couldn’t get the camera focused quick enough before he flew off. The Artesian trail takes hikers through a pristine hardwood swamp and past an artesian spring-fed pond.

  • Hiking Trails that take you through lush canopies of Live Oaks and Long Leaf Pines, along creeks and through fresh and saltwater marshes, cutting through hardwood swamps, and past an artesian spring-fed pond. At least 10 miles of trails await hikers in this nothing less than an enchanting and peaceful piece of paradise. The .7-mile oak trail is paved and is ADA accessible.
  • Equestrian Trails 6.2 miles, to be exact. Through beautiful natural woodland landscapes. Equine trails start at the Equine Camping area.
  • Campsites Primitive campsites are available for equestrians, groups, and private campers. Restroom and showers are on site. 3 campsites feature their own fishing docks.; however, there are limited facilities in the dockside camping area. For your convenience, Here is a link to Princess Place Preserve’s official campsite reservation page.
  • Cabins Three climate-controlled two-bedroom cottages offering queen-sized beds, full kitchens, two bathrooms, a furnished screened-in porch, and an outdoor fire pit are available for weekly rentals. The Cabins offer spectacular waterfront views. Click here to be re-directed to Princess Place Preserve’s official reservations page.
  • Kayak/Canoe launch available; however, they must be hand-carried to the water from nearby parking.
  • Fishing from dockside, alongside the water’s edge, or from canoe/kayak, the preserve’s proximity to Pellicer Creek, Moody Creek, and the Matanzas River makes for a great family fishing destination.
  • Lodge Tours are offered every Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 2 pm
  • Wildlife viewing & Birding White-Tailed Deer, Great Blue Heron, Red Fox, Bobcat, Barred Owl, Belted Kingfisher, and American Bald Eagle are just some of the birds and animals you may encounter within the preserve.
  • Picnic Tables and larger picnic pavilions are available. Pavilions can be reserved by calling 386-313-4020.

Princess Place Preserve is located at 2500 Princess Place Road in Palm Coast, Florida. From I-95 take exit 298 US1 South. From US1 take the 1st left onto Old Kinds Rd then turn left on Princess Place Road.

There is no entrance fee to the preserve; however, a donation box is provided, and donations are appreciated. Pets are welcomed but must be kept on a leash. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

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