Armchair Traveler takes journey to Lucayan National Park

Published 3:42 pm Monday, February 22, 2010

South Carolina Master Naturalist and Executive Director of FENCE Melissa Le Roy will take FENCE Armchair Travelers on a canoeing tour of the Lucayan National Park on Sunday, February 28, at 4 p.m.

Established in 1970 and named after the original inhabitants of the Bahamas, the Lucayan National Park encompasses 40 acres permanantly protected by the Bahamian government.

The park includes one of the longest known underwater cave systems in the world, with more than six miles of caves, caverns, and tunnels charted. Above-ground, the park exhibits all the Bahamian vegetative zones.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

An extensive trail and boardwalk system allows visitors to explore this feature. Epiphytic bromeliads and orchids begin blooming along this trail in late spring to early summer, while bonsai-like ming trees delight visitors year round. The spectacular Gold Rock Creek Beach features one of the highest coastal dunes on the island, richly vegetated with cocoplum, sabal palm, cinnecord, sea grape, casuarina, and other tropical trees.

The park protects a portion of Gold Rock Creek that supports a productive mangrove ecosystem. From the boardwalk, one may observe saltwater fishes, wading birds, and waterfowl among the stilt-like roots.

In addition to her dream job at FENCE, Melissa Le Roy is an adjunct professor with Duke University currently teaching in the Nonprofit Management continuing studies program. She is also the author of the semi-monthly article Nonprofit Leadership in the Tryon Daily Bulletin.

The FENCE Armchair Traveler series is offered free of charge with the support of the Kirby Endowment Fund at the Polk County Community Foundation.