By Bill and Susie Birdsong
May 25, 2019 1:00 a.m.
Editor’s Note: Bill Birdsong, a frequent contributor to Sunday’s “Amelia Island revealed . . .” series sent us these untouched photos to show what our city’s greenway has to offer. We have posted two groups of photographs all taken during the Birdsongs’ one and a half hour Greenway walk. We thank Bill and his wife Susie, who wrote about the uniqueness and beauty of one of our city’s greatest assets.
Egans Creek Greenway has been in the news lately so it is timely that people be aware of it and what they might see there. It’s apparent that more and more local folks and visitors are discovering and valuing this treasure. The North and South sections are distinct: one a marsh environment; the other, fresh water. This gives two distinct habitats over a total of about 2.5 miles if taken together.
I don’t know of any other place with such a variety of wildlife and scenery in such a short distance. You can enter the slightly shorter North section from behind the Recreation Center on Atlantic and exit at Jasmine. This is the marsh. Or, walk the South, which runs from Jasmine to Sadler ending at the Residence Inn. This is the fresh water. Both have entrances/exits on Jasmine marked by green signs, about 100 yards apart. There is parking along the road on Jasmine or in specially designated stalls at the Residence Inn and next to the play ground behind the Recreation Center. The paths are grass, easily walked or biked. The city has placed excellent maps of the trails at all entrances/exits.
For us, the greenway serves as a place of relaxation, exercise, appreciation of nature and wonderful opportunities for photography. Both environments are interesting but the South provides more shade in the summer. Insect repellent is generally a good idea. We have been asked, “Just what is out there? Is it dangerous?”
We hike or bike the trails several times a week and have never felt any danger (even from the alligators!) and always see something interesting. To inform friends who haven’t been there, I put together a series of images of what we saw on a walk on the South greenway last week. We started at 5 pm at the entrance behind the Residence Inn. Here are some the photos from that walk, taken not for artistic reasons but to show the variety of wildlife you might see. Every image is of a different animal or bird. Remember, these were seen in 1 1/2 hours on a walk of about a mile!
The greenway is one of the gems of our city. If you haven’t visited, please do.