The Space Coast has numerous river islands and nature preserves. We’ve had the opportunity to visit a few, but I would have to say that “Satellite Beach’s Best Kept Secret” is my favorite. Samson Island is city-owned and accessible only by boat. It’s not very large, but the 52-acre island is jam-packed with plants, wildlife, walking trails, picnic tables and other recreation spots.
Getting to Samson Island
A few of the local paddle sport shops claim that a round-trip from their shop to Samson Island is a relaxing six-mile journey. There are several boat docks scattered along the island shore for anyone lucky enough to have a boat on this lovely stretch of river. But if all of those options fail, like it did for us, it is possible to catch a free boat ride every Sunday at 1:00 PM behind the Satellite Beach Fire Department (1390 S Patrick Drive).
The boat ride was one of my favorite moments of the day. We road with nine other people in a small pontoon boat. It was a gorgeous 15 minute ride through a canal-heavy neighborhood of beautiful waterfront homes, private sailboats and yachts. The canals themselves were home to numerous birds, and dolphins; on the boat ride alone, I counted six different species of birds and saw three pairs of dolphins.
The island itself was an enjoyable walk. It showed signs of the recent hurricane with several downed trees, scattered brush, and broken signs. The trails were still well maintained and the wildlife was plentiful. We saw six different types of flowers and another three types of birds (including a fairly close view of an osprey).
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We also saw (felt) a lot of bugs… Josh, Mom, and I were all eaten alive by ants and mosquitoes. I strongly suggest bringing both sunscreen AND bug spray when visiting the island. It will make a much more enjoyable next morning (we are a sight for sore eyes today).
Overall, we had a great time. I would strongly suggest the trip to anyone looking for some inexpensive outdoor fun here on the Space Coast!