Space Coast – South Tropical Trail, Merritt Island Scenic Drives from Florida to Indian Harbor Beach


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back at the end of the 1960s, when I first moved to Florida in the South Tropical Trail was a narrow winding two road lanes from the West end of the Mather bridge which connects Indian Harbor Beach at the southern tip of the island of Merritt and wound along the western edge of the North the island for the centre most populated of Merritt Island, near 520 road State. Mather’s bridge at the time was an old wooden bridge that I spent my youth, fishing and at the West end to Merritt Island, Sam Mather’s bridge, old fishing Camp. Along the trail, large houses nestled among large properties on the side is road spread from the Banana River shore to the West in the Indian River Trail. These “goods” have been dispersed by properties not equipped with jungle – like vegetation, which gives a mysterious supernatural aura to this part of the island. There were also several urban legends on the trail, including the ‘haunted house’, a former nursing home, dilapidated and abandoned would have always been haunted by residents who died there. There was the “crazy with Machete”, a so-called crazy man who prowled the trail on foot at night, looking for unsuspecting teenagers parked in lots. Then there was the “girl in the glass coffin”, so the story goes, a man raises his blind daughter until she dies tragically young teenager. The father, distraught about his death and the life expectancy of blindness entombs the body of her daughter above ground on their property in a glass coffin so that “she won’t spend eternity in darkness as she spent her short life. Then there was our own version of ‘Curve of Dead Man’, a section of the trail where there is a higher than normal number of traffic accidents fatal happened, usually more young drivers showing off late at night. The so-called “haunted house” was there, ghosts or not, as was the “curved cursed, a narrow on the edge of the Indian River Lagoon bordered by thick trees. The ‘girl in glass coffin’ was a story that you always heard third-hand, I’ve never met anyone who had seen her actually or could tell exactly where she was, and I have never personally met the crazy “Machete.”

However, that said, the drive between State Road 520 to Merritt Island South to the Mather bridge, which connects the South tip of Merritt Island in Indian Harbour Beach is one of the more interesting drives along the coast area east of Florida and can be plugged into three sections, however in my opinion it’s better the further south you go with the section further south being the best.

more access to the North is the State Road 520 floor of at first light East bridge of the Indian River from cocoa. Approaching from the East, it will be the next fire West of the intersection between 520 and South Parkway of Courtenay. 520 to the South, the South Tropical Trail will gradually put through mainly residential areas for the first 3 miles, but once past, trail runs along the East Bank of the Indian River Lagoon, offering a broad view of this most biologically diverse estuary while to the East of the road, dominate the upscale home locations. This will continue for a little more than 2 miles, at which point, the trail turns East to meet up with South Parkway of Courtenay, where it turns south again and Parkway South of Courtenay or State Route 3 becomes South Tropical Trail or County Road 3.

the second step, which is accessible by directly by South Courtenay Parkway if you want to bypass the first round, a first time will pass by residential on both sides of the road, but soon begins to embrace the Banana River to the East, offering great views of this beautiful River, while to the West, beautiful homes on lots are expansive rule.

third- or more to the South leg begins the trail passes under the Pineda Causeway and can be accessed or is out at this point. It is also the most picturesque of the reader part as the trail now begins to embrace the shore of Indian River Lagoon to the West. The island is thinner here and good number of owners along this stretch have the property of the Banana River to the Indian River and tropical foliage are replete with attractive gazebos and waterfront shoreline. The views are spectacular, especially towards the sunset. South Tropical Trail ends at the bridge of Mather and at this stage the island is not much larger that the road is East on the bridge, becoming the Banana River Drive in Indian Harbour Beach.

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