A visit to Forever Florida and the Crescent J Ranch is like a romp through the terrain that once dominated this State. The unfortunate part is trying to figure out where we will show our children this amount of unspoiled land in the future?
A briefing movie about the history of the area, ranch and its inspiration are a beautiful tribute to Alan Brousard. It’s the first stop of the Journey. Beautiful flower blossoms and scents are evident at various spots. The air breathed here is deeper and fresher. Lunch is served on wooden tables inside of the Cypress Café. The gift shop has a good selection of books about Florida and some Western motif items are also found there. The Heartbreak Hotel ,that reputedly was the namesake of the Elvis song, has 8 sleeping rooms and some crafts in the shop. It is less than 30 minutes away in an area that also looks relatively unspoiled.
As I wander through the Crescent J, a few books come to mind.
Vanishing Florida because Citrus Groves, Farms, Ranches and Wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate.
A Land Remembered because it reads like a mini series that you can’t put down about several generations of cow hunters making there way from Georgia into Southern Florida and the lifestyle that was left behind. Indians, love, development, animals, and people are an intricate part of this land and the book that describes it. The Merritt Island colorful author Patrick Smith is celebrated at this very location on an annual tribute day.
Trees of the forest, flowers of the fields, black waters of the streams, floodplains, flatlands, and native foliage dot the horizon. This is our History. This is the way it looked and thanks to one young naturalist who told his parents, “I wish this area would stay this way forever”, it will.
Your Eco-Safari swamp buggy gives you a higher vantage point to ride around the various terrain to be visited. These vary from the pastures of the ranch to the growth of the natural ecosystem. A short walking trail along a boardwalk give you an opportunity to view a sample of the world’s third most bio diverse region.
Turtles, gators, osprey, raccoons and assorted other critters are usually available for viewing. The cracker horses are noted to be descendents of those from the Spanish explorers of centuries past. Bulls and cows stare back at you as if to say, “We’ve got to have a place left for us also!”
A package tour of $59 includes lunch, transportation, guide, Animal area, taxes and eco-safari!
Lee A. Rosenkranz, CTC is a second generation travel agent and International tour escort. He is a certified travel counselor, syndicated travel writer, travel course teacher, and radio talk show host. He currently works out of Palm Beach and Melbourne, Florida for Travel Greeters, a Visit USA inbound tour operation and the Dayaway Travel Club whose slogan is “if you’ve got a hobby we’ve got a tour”.
Travel Club Cruises, Vacations, Seminars and Sightseeing Tours are available to the public.
You can reach Lee by phone at 321-259-6300.
Visit the travel club at dayawaytravelclub.com.
Post Facto: Florida Forever is no longer in operations as an eco tour. Their site is down, but Facebook remains. They are however returning to their roots as a conservation organization.
“For 20 years we have enjoyed providing eco-tourism opportunities on our nature preserve and working cattle ranch. Now we are focusing on providing safe homes for the native species of Florida, both plants and animals. We thank the public for all the adventure and memories!”