Making Our Future Together -
Trails, parks, events and recreation programs make Palm Coast a special place
Sally and Joe Boyce get outdoors every day – whether kayaking a picturesque creek, bicycling along a shaded pathway, or bird-watching at a local park.
"It's too beautiful to stay in, and when you have all this available to you, you don't want to stay in," Sally said recently after kayaking in Long Creek.
The Boyces first discovered Palm Coast about 35 years ago with a vacation weekend from ITT Community Development Corp. They bought a house in 1981 and started visiting regularly from New York and then Pennsylvania. Eventually they tried another area of Florida, but the excellent quality of life in Palm Coast lured them back. The retired couple with a grown son bought their current home last November, and they're here full-time now. They attended the grand opening of the new Long Creek Nature Preserve the same week they closed on their new house.
"We love Palm Coast," Sally said. "I love my neighborhood. I love entertaining in my new house. It's great to retire when you're still young enough to do everything."
Vibrant lifestyle and the natural environment go hand-in-hand in Palm Coast, and the City places a high priority on making the community a great place to live, work and play. As a coastal community, it's just minutes to the fabulous "cinnamon" beaches. Palm Coast's location on the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean – along with 70 miles of saltwater and freshwater canals within the City – makes it a perfect place for boating, swimming and fishing.
The City of Palm Coast has more than 125 miles of connecting trails, pathways and bicycle lanes for walking, running and bicycling. The City's 15 parks offer a variety of amenities such as playgrounds, fishing docks, picnic pavilions and athletic courts. Among the parks are the Indian Trails Sports Complex, the Palm Harbor Golf Club, the Palm Coast Tennis Center, and Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool.
Lined with historic oaks, towering pines and indigenous vegetation, Palm Coast's parks and trails showcase the splendid elegance of the native Florida landscape. Bird-watching is popular at St. Joe Walkway and Linear Park, which are designated as Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trails, and visitors can spot dolphins and seabirds as they stroll along the Intracoastal at Waterfront Park.
"One of the key comments we hear over and over again is how much people enjoy our trail system, how easily they can access the trails and the ability to use them all the time," said Luanne Santangelo, Director of Palm Coast Parks & Recreation.
The Parks & Recreation Department offers a comprehensive, year-round recreation program for all ages and an extensive schedule of special events. Many of the programs are based at the Palm Coast Community Center, a hub of recreational and social activities, civic meetings, and camps for children. The City offers the Palm Coast Running Series, with five of the series' eight annual runs conducted by the City. Each year, Palm Coast hosts some 25 regional and national athletic competitions in soccer, lacrosse, tennis and more, contributing to the local economy.
Signature special events include the Arbor Day Celebration, International Festival, Palm Coast & the Flagler Beaches Senior Games, the Starlight Parade, Birds of a Feather Fest, Food Truck Tuesdays and Movies in Central Park.
"We provide opportunities that allow the whole family to participate together, whether at our special events, the pool or our parks," Santangelo said. "We create those family experiences."
"We believe that having a healthy community starts in Parks," Santangelo said. "We know our residents love their active lifestyle and, with the attention we place on providing beautiful parks and trails and outstanding programs and events, Palm Coast really is a special place."
Enjoy the outdoors at the new Long Creek Nature Preserve
Long Creek Nature Preserve is the newest jewel in the City of Palm Coast's park system. It was acquired by the City in 2008 with the financial support from Flagler County's Environmentally Sensitive Lands Program and the State of Florida's Florida Forever Program. Prior to acquisition, the nine-acre site at 1050 Palm Harbor Parkway was planned to be condos, but now is an amazing preserve that provides fishing and kayak/ canoe access to both Long Creek and College Waterway, and a tranquil area for walking and enjoying the outdoors. The property is a major archeological resource, the Hernandez Landing Site, related to the early 1800s Plantation Period in Florida. With generous grant funding from the Florida Inland Navigation District and City funding, the first phase of the Long Creek project includes a path and boardwalk to kayak/canoe launches, a fishing pier and floating dock, and a parking area. The preserve is connected to the 225-acre Long Creek Basin and Palm Coast's saltwater canal system. Its natural beauty serves as a living laboratory for environmental education programs, including for the Children Helping in Resource Protection (CHIRP) program offered by the City for Flagler schoolchildren. Future phases include expansion of the trail network through the preserve and a nature center.