“We still all need to get outdoors, get some exercise and enjoy nature, and still be heeding all those ‘social distancing’ warnings',” said Roger Fulton, Port Orange resident and master naturalist and author. “Snakes, gators and bears don’t carry the Coronavirus.”
He has a point. At a time when more public events get canceled each day due to Covid-19 and more restrictions get placed on gatherings of any kind, it is easy to forget what joy and tranquility can still be had in small groups or even among couples or individuals. And hiking and biking is healthy.
Spring is the perfect time to be reminded of the hidden treasures found throughout Volusia County in the form of bike and walking trails., Mr. Fulton said. “Although I am suspending my leading of groups on my nature hikes on Sunday afternoons, I’m going to continue to post ‘locations’ where you and yours can get out and enjoy nature with very little human contact. And, on your own schedules. I’ll still be around those locations on my schedule. I’ll (still) sweep the trail to make sure nobody is lost. I am going to stay away, but I am going to give some guidance, too. I’m going to do it every Sunday. So, please get out there.”
The former New York state trooper retired after 35 years in law enforcement and discovered a love of nature, which he now shares with residents in both Florida and New York. The self-employed freelance writer has written 40 books, starting with his first in 1988, “Common Sense Supervision.” Many of his books are about biking and hiking trails or canoeing/kayak trips in Central Florida.
Mr. Fulton has been doing nature presentations and nature tours for at least 16 years. He is a frequent presenter at DeBary Hall and Lyonia Preserve and leads off-road bike tours, such as in Tiger Bay State Forest.
“People need to get outside and if they need the exercise, that’s part of their health program,” he said. “This gives them an opportunity to go out and explore Volusia County as well as serving a purpose and getting family time. The number one thing is for health; both physical and mental health. You’ve got to keep moving. I’m pushing 73 now. And I’m going to keep pushing and keep enjoying life. I think that’s what keeps you healthy, your attitude.”
Mr. Fulton ‘s recommended sights to explore include Buncombe Hill Trail, which is part of Florida’s trail walker system. It is outside of Daytona Beach, just off U.S. 92 in the Tiger Bay Forest. Another spot to check out is Clark Bay Conservation Area at the foot of the DeLand Municipal Airport. The Lyonia Preserve behind the Deltona library is wide open and makes for the perfect venue to try and see the elusive scrub jay. There are also several locations in the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve.
Mr. Fulton, who also is a Coast Guard veteran from the Vietnam era, has been a “snowbird” for 20 years and divides his time between Port Orange and Courtland, N.Y. He has traveled extensively and believes in staying active.
For more information, visit rogerfulton.com.