In my quest to find new places to ride, I came across Malabar Scrub a few years back. It's in South Palm Bay, FL, so not a terrible long drive. As usual I had done what research I could online, so I knew it was only 400 acres and a multi use park, but that was ok because Baleigh and I were only going for the day.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the parking. Being a horsewoman, I’ve parked in fields, on the side of a road, in horse trailer parking lots etc. This was in the parking lot for a soccer field! Yep, asphalt, mini vans, soccer moms and all. And there were games going on.
I’m game for anything, so we unloaded the horses and they watched their first soccer game while grooming and tacking. We, of course, had those few kids that wanted to pet the horses, but it wasn’t as bad as I feared as most were busy on the fields.
I was still skeptical as we rode toward the trails, because it was more cement and asphalt. My fears were laid aside though as soon as we stepped over the curb and onto the typical sandy trails of Florida.
As with most trails, there were plenty of scrub palms, palmetto bushes, pines and oaks. There was quite a bit of lowland that was dry at the moment, but the park had made some really great bridges to get across these areas and we took advantage of them all.
Toward the end of the ride we found a nice big pond that was pretty clear of growth. I’m afraid of Florida water, I’ll admit it. I don’t do snakes or gators. I like the California reservoirs where the water is clean and clear and free of critters. (Sorry to those who like them, but they are NOT my cup of tea.) This looked safe enough though, so we took the horses in a way to play.
I’d recommend this park to anyone within a decent driving range looking for a few hours of play time.
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Read more On the Trail With Stephanie:
The Great Escape (sort of)