Again within the late 1960s after I first moved to Florida, South Tropical Path was a slender winding two lane roadway beginning on the West finish of Mather’s Bridge which connects Indian Harbor Seaside to the South tip of Merritt Island, and wound alongside the western fringe of the island northward to the extra populated heart of Merritt Island close to State Street 520. Mather’s Bridge on the time was an previous wood bridge that I spent my youth fishing from and on the west finish on Merritt Island sat the previous Mather’s bridge Fish Camp. Alongside the path, massive properties nestled amongst massive properties on the east aspect of the highway stretched from the Banana River shore westward throughout the path to the Indian River. These “estates” had been damaged up by undeveloped properties with jungle-like vegetation, giving a mysterious otherworldly aura to this a part of the island. There have been additionally a number of city legends concerning the Path, together with the “Haunted Home”, an historic, dilapidated, and deserted nursing dwelling allegedly nonetheless haunted by the residents who died there. There was the “Madman with the Machete”, a supposedly insane man who prowled the path on foot at evening, on the lookout for unsuspecting youngsters parked in vacant heaps. Then there was the “Woman within the Glass Coffin”, whereas the story goes, a person raises his blind daughter till she dies tragically in her younger teenagers. The daddy, distraught over her dying and lifelong of blindness entombs his daughter’s physique above floor on their property in a glass coffin in order that “she won’t must spend eternity in darkness as she spent her quick life”. Then there was our personal model of “Useless Man’s Curve”, a bit of the path the place the next than regular quantity deadly visitors accidents occurred, often youthful drivers exhibiting off late at evening. The alleged “Haunted Home” was there, ghosts or not, as was “Useless Man’s Curve, a slender curve on the sting of the Indian River Lagoon lined with thick bushes. The “Woman within the Glass Coffin” was a narrative you at all times heard third hand, I by no means met anyone who had really seen her or might inform precisely the place she was, and I by no means personally met the “Machete Madman”.
Nevertheless, with that stated, the drive between State Street 520 in Merritt Island Southward to Mather’s Bridge, which connects the South tip of Merritt Island to Indian Harbor Seaside is likely one of the most attention-grabbing drives alongside the Area Coast of East central Florida, and could be pushed in three sections, nonetheless in my view it will get higher the farther south you go along with the southernmost part being one of the best.
The northernmost entry is from State Street 520 Causeway on the first stoplight east of the Indian River Bridge from Cocoa. If approaching from the east it is going to be the subsequent stoplight west of the intersection of 520 and South Courtenay Parkway. Heading South from 520, South Tropical Path will wind by way of largely residential neighborhoods for the primary Three miles, however as soon as previous that, the path runs alongside the japanese shoreline of the Indian River lagoon providing expansive views of this most biologically numerous estuary whereas to the east of the highway, excessive finish home-sites dominate. This can proceed for slightly over 2 miles at which level the path turns to the east to satisfy up with South Courtenay Parkway, the place it once more turns to the south and South Courtenay Parkway or State Street Three turns into South Tropical Path or County Street 3.
The second leg, which could be accessed by immediately by South Courtenay Parkway in the event you want to bypass the primary leg, will at first undergo residential on each side of the highway however in a short time begins to hug the Banana River to the east providing nice views of this stunning river, whereas to the west, stunning properties on expansive heaps are the rule.
The third or southernmost leg begins because the path passes beneath Pineda Causeway and could be accessed or exited at this level. That is additionally essentially the most scenic portion of the drive because the path now begins to hug the Indian River Lagoon shoreline to the west. The island is thinner right here and lots of the owners alongside this stretch personal the property from the Banana River to the Indian River and tropical foliage abounds whereas enticing gazebos and docks line the shoreline. The views are spectacular, particularly in the direction of sundown. South Tropical Path ends at Mather’s Bridge and at this level the island shouldn’t be a lot wider than the highway, because it turns to the east throughout the bridge, turning into Banana River Drive getting into Indian Harbor Seaside.