"Lifeguard Station" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Gulf Islands

Naval Live Oaks

brochure Gulf Islands - Naval Live Oaks
Gulf Islands National Seashore Florida, Mississippi National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Naval Live Oaks Reserved for the Nation President John Adams called the U.S. Navy “Wooden Walls” and considered the Navy the first line of defense from foreign invasion. Renowned for their resistance to disease and incredible density, live oak trees provided durable wood for the construction of navy vessels. The first tree farm in the United States was established here in 1828 in order to use the live oak timber for shipbuilding. The Naval Live Oaks Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore now preserves 1,400 acres for visitors to enjoy. Live Oaks The oak family, which includes over 450 species, is known for its durable wood. The live oak (Quercus virginiana) is one of the most recognizable members of this family. From a small acorn these trees grow up to 50 feet in height and live as long as 300 years. A cubic foot of live oak can weigh as much as 75 pounds compared to a white oak that weighs 56 pounds. Live oak leaves fall throughout the year. However, a tree never loses all of its leaves at once. This year-round or evergreen appearance gives the live oak its name. Shipwrights, also known as live oakers, located and felled massive branches and trunks to provide the specific shapes needed for sections of ships. About one thousand trees were used to build just one wooden vessel. The U.S.S. Constitution, the U.S. Navy’s oldest commissioned war vessel, is nicknamed “Old Ironsides” because cannon balls bounced off its oak hull in a battle during the War of 1812. Although the ship was originally constructed with live oak from Georgia, live oak from the Pensacola area was used for the ship’s 1929 restoration. Live oak trees played a critical role in the early years of the US Navy Naval Live Oaks Trails Guide Brackenridge Nature Trail Earning $400 a year Henry Marie Brackenridge cultivated live oak trees as Superintendent of the Naval Live Oaks Reservation. Trail markers identify plants and describe how live oaks were used in shipbuilding. The trail consists of a “figure 8” path with an observation deck at the far end. Beaver Pond Trail The Beaver Pond Trail passes through several plant communities typical of southeastern forests. A beaver dam can be seen at the northern end of the trail. When active, the beaver dam maintains the water level even during times of drought, attracting a variety of wildlife. Andrew Jackson Trail Also known as the Pensacola to St. Augustine Road, this trail was the first road connecting East Florida with West Florida. The U.S. Congress provided $20,000 for construction of the road in 1824 when Florida was still a territory. Old Borrow Pit Trail Sand from the borrow pit was used for the construction of U. S. Highway 98. The trail leads through longleaf and sand pine communities. Hikers on this trail will notice the benefits of a prescribed fire that rejuvenated the forest. Prescribed burns are conducted to enhance habitat for plants and animals and to prevent wildfires by reducing fuel loads. Secondary Trails Several secondary trails can be used for additional hiking. The heat and humidity can be intense! Wear sun protection and drink plenty of water. Watch out for snakes, chiggers, ticks, and poison ivy. ea al S il To Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens t Tra b Bo Sik e ri sB dg Toll Bridge cou 399 N S B oy on ati sh i Tra ary ng F is h i und l Bo ore on Trail No North An d re ck e Trail n 0 0 s Road Ol d S O 2,000 Feet 400 Meters Qu Pond Headquarters Pavilion tio S A O R Observation Platform Bra rail on T n rid ge cks w Ja Maintenance Area 98 T A N S A Camping Only Pavilion erpeYouth Group ve l Trai 98 To Pensacola ks Jac B utc h o nC Re a rv se ar r y Tr U N Trail D d e Ro a BREEZE rew And Trail Name Andrew Jackson Brackenridge Fishing Beaver Pond Old Borrow Pit Old Quarry Brown’s Pond North Bay Boy Scout North-South Pine Scrub Picnic area Parking Bay GULF Distance (Miles) 2.4 0.8 1.2 1.0 0.9 1.0 0.4 0.3 0.3 1.0 0.3 Wheelchair-accessible trail Multi-use trail Restrooms Wheelchair-accessible P ond Hiking trail h rt B e av e r Trail Pit n’ Br ow il Tra d Ol rro w For Your Safety Bo r Baysho e Bug repellent is advised. Please practice Leave No Trace principles. Call 911 for emergencies. 98 To Navarre

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