Florida Paddling Trails Association

Mc Grits Creek Park Trails Report
(McGrits Creek Park Trails)


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Report By:  overstreet    Date: 2/20/2017    Type: Trip Report
Rating:n/a     Photos: See 5 photos     Map & Directions: View


McGirts Creek Between the Jacksonvillle -Baldwin trail and Collins Road.

My Report:

Trip Report Mc Girts Creek Park Trails (Jax-Baldwin trail to Collins Road)
2-20-17


I’ve always seen this trail listed. It sparked my interest. So Monday 2-20-17 Qruiser and I had to go get a boat trailer tire fixed which seemed like a good excuse to get lunch out. At lunch over salad, eggs, hash browns and pancakes we decided to do a little scouting of McGirts creek. Google gets a little confused considering this creek. Some places it lists it as McGirts Creek others as Ortega River. Long time Ortega residents consider the Ortega River as McGirts creek. None of them give much thought about these upper regions of the creek/river.

On Sunday we had peddled the Jacksonville-Baldwin trail. (Rails to Trails) At the intersection of the creek we stopped to look at the creek. It was narrow, shallow and winding. Deadfall and trees encroached on the water path. We wandered into Camp Milton from the Trail rest room area and found the creek again at the display of Civil War bridges. Once again small creek worthy of the name drainage creek. The Jax-Baldwin trail is a 15 mile 8-10 ft wide asphalt path built on an old rail bed. It is a good place to take the bicycle, horse or just walk. Rest rooms with flush toilets and potable water are located along the trail.

Monday we went to the Old Plank road put in to verify conditions. We drove the van across the bridge and verified similar conditions as the Camp Milton creek. So south we went on Chaffee Road to see the creek crossing………… it was so big we missed it. Once down to 103 street we went across the creek at Lambing road. Really nice bridge, but the traffic was not a place to stop. Up to Ricker Road south to 118th street. The west end of 118th dead ends in McGirts Creek Park. See “McGirts Creek Community Center” on Google Maps.

A walk around the park has some trails, but they are concrete sidewalks with pipe “fitness trail” stations for doing some exercises. There are some retention ponds one could “stealth” kayak on but no boat launches were apparent. Examination of the aerial photos shows the creek is not well defined and may split up but is a good distance through the woods to the west. Not passable without considerable effort. (See picture.) The park features playground, ball fields, basketball courts and a community center. It looks fairly new.

Down to the Collins road crossing. Collins road has two crossings. This was the western crossing. Oh my, the traffic was heavy. It was only about 3:30 but there was a lot of traffic. The bridge crossing the creek revealed a scene reminiscent of my middle school years. We had one of those wooded creek low lands where we’d ride bikes, wade for crawdads, shoot bottles and hang out. The creek had that I’m little now by at flood time look out appearance. Brush, twigs, trash and other signs of man were slammed against a fence to indicate the water rises up to 4 feet and runs through the woods instead of the shallow winding tree covered stream bed it now rests in.

Yes there is a creek there. Perhaps you could take a short sit-on-top or canoe down the creek. If you do there will be a lot of dead fall to go under, over or through. Navigable water would not cover this creek so there could be irate land owners to contend with. It is shallow you’d have to get out and walk a lot. During high water it would just be a dangerous maze of trees, strainers and current. It isn’t worth the effort.

However Collins road isn't far from our favorite ice cream store. While there the tire store called and said the tire was ready. It was a good trip.

Then again FPTA does list this trail as “McGrits” Creek Park Trail. Perhaps I should go back to the diner and start over. 

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Considerations: Other
Dangers: Channel
Distance (miles): 10+
Fees/Costs $: n/a


Photos from McGrits Creek Park Trails:    (Click image to view full size)

@Camp Milton No Comm
@Camp Milton

From the McGirts civil war recreation bridge display

@ Old Plank Road No Comm
@ Old Plank Road

From .....Google Earth Street View. Verified by site visit.

Trails@McGirts Park No Comm
Trails@McGirts Park
Map No Comm
Map

Jax-Baldwin Trail to Collins Road, from Google Earth.

South@Collins Road No Comm
South@Collins Road


Post Date: 2/21/2017

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Notice: Reported conditions may change and there may be errors in this text. Florida Paddling Trails Association and author(s) of individual reports shall not be held liable for any omissions and inaccuracies contained herein. Readers are cautioned to supplement reports with other sources of information when planning a trip.


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