Hot Fun In The Summertime

Summer adventure is just outside your door.
While that isn’t an official slogan for Palm Coast’s great outdoors, maybe it should be.
One doesn’t have to go far to access a trail to bike or walk, a park to have a picnic at or build a sandcastle at the beach or head to a local lake — fishing and water sports abound at both locations.

Biking and Hiking

More than 125 miles of trails await bikers and hikers in the greater Palm Coast area. Some are more difficult than others.
The Graham Swamp Preserve Trail, accessible at 5135 Colbert Lane in Palm Coast, is nearly seven miles through heavily wooded terrain and provides significant challenges. This trail is recommended for experienced bikers and hikers. It has numerous exposed tree roots, sudden dips and is considered a black diamond mountain trail.
The Mala Compra Greenway Trail is located in the Hammock area along the eastern coast and is 5.5 miles of challenging climbs, quick descents, tight inclined turns and flowing switchbacks. Again, this trail is for those with experience. It rewards users for enduring its challenges with rock gardens and sulfur springs. It starts at 115 Malacompra Road at Bings Landing, where parking is available.
For those needing (or preferring) an easier hike or ride, the St. Joe Walkway/Linear Park trail is far less challenging but just as rewarding aesthetically with views of the Intracoastal and of its surrounding maritime forest and hardwood hammock trees. This shaded walkway provides relief from the summer heat and people using it are often walking or jogging, bird watching, cycling, enjoying a picnic, letting the kids burn off some energy at the playground or playing a game of shuffleboard. The trail is labeled “pet friendly.” Access this trail at 305 Palm Coast Parkway.
Learn more about Palm Coast trails at these websites: or or

Get Your Game On

Starting now through the middle of August, the Palm Coast Parks and Recreation offers several opportunities to play a variety of sports. Starting in June and running through mid-August are an adult basketball league on Tuesday and Thursday nights, beginner’s pickleball on Tuesday and Friday mornings at Holland Park, an adult open gym volleyball on Monday nights at Rymfire Elementary in which new teams are created each week, and adult co-ed basketball on Wednesday nights also at Rymfire.
Tournaments for wiffleball and pickleball are scheduled for Sunday, July 10, at Indian Trails Sports Complex for ages 15 and older and for Saturday, June 25, at Holland Park.
Register for team games and tournaments online at

Learn Some Defensive Moves

Commander Michael Lutz of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office leads this three-day class designed to teach women effective methods to ward off attackers, become more aware of one’s surroundings and learn safety tips. Pre-registration 48 hours in advance is required. Participants are required to attend all three classes set for June 13, 20 and 27 from 6 to 8 PM. Ages 13 and older are welcome to attend this free class held at the Palm Coast Community Center. Register online at

Ballroom Dance Lessons

Do you watch television’s “Dancing with the Stars” and wish you could float across the floor like that too? Now you can at least try. Tom and Jo Sanders of Dance with Me lead a Tuesday night one-hour class at the Palm Coast Community Center in which participants can learn the Foxtrot, the Tango, the Cha Cha and the Rumba. Cost is $10 per class, weekly pre-registration is required but you don’t have to bring your own partner. Beginners are welcome, so don’t be a wallflower. Register online at

Public Swimming Pool

The Palm Coast Aquatics Center (the Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool) is located at 339 Parkview Drive and is open seven days a week starting after Memorial Day running through the summer months. The outdoor pool is heated, the facility is lighted for after hours rentals and has four pavilions available for reservation. The pool deck has numerous tables with umbrellas and chairs plus chaise loungers. Visit online at for a full listing of hours and admission/rental fees.

Daytona Tortugas

“Take me out to the ball game. Take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack. I don’t care if I never get back …”
If by now you are at least humming that familiar tune sung in the seventh inning stretch at ballparks across America, then you are ready for 2022’s rendition of the boys of summer, Daytona Tortugas style.
The team starts June with five games in Port St. Lucie against the St. Lucie Mets. But come Tuesday, June 7, they are back in town for six days of games at the Jackie Robinson Ballpark located at 105 East Orange Avenue in Daytona Beach against the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Games start at 7:05 PM except on Sunday when the start time is 5:35 PM.
June 14 through 19, the Tortugas are in Lakeland playing against the Flying Tigers and on June 21 through 26 the Tortugas return home to host the Jupiter Hammerheads.
The team’s schedule rotates one week on the road and one week home for the duration of the regular season through the middle of September. View the schedule and other club information such as rosters and statistics online at
Home games also feature various promotions. There are too many to list here but some of the highlights include pink uniforms in honor of breast cancer awareness on June 7, Thirsty Thursday specials on fountain drinks and beer and First Friday Fireworks after the game each first Friday of the month when the Tortugas play at home.
The Tortugas are a minor league team in the Florida State League and the Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball.
They’ve been champions of the FSL six times and so, yes, “if they don’t win, it’s a shame.”
Tickets are available online at or

There’s Always the Beach

So, technically, Palm Coast does not have a beach within its limits. Duh. But several are within just a few minutes’ drive.
Flagler Beach: Probably the closest sandy destination for Palm Coasters; probably one of the most familiar as well with its locally-owned restaurants and touristy shops. It is six miles of car-free beach, which can be an unusual-hard-to-find amenity with Florida beaches. Four parks nearby offer an alternative from the sand: Check out Silverlake Park, Veterans Park, Wadsworth Park and Wickline Park.
Note regarding lifeguarding services for 2022: The area scheduled for active lifeguarding through September from 9:45 AM to 5:15 PM isn’t as large this year as in the past. For 2022, lifeguarding provided by the city of Flagler Beach is available on the beach between the two boardwalks.
As City Manager William Whitson told the city’s commissioners at its February 2022 meeting, “It’s going to be simpler for the public to understand. The guarded beach is from boardwalk to boardwalk. That’s not confusing. If you want to come to a guarded beach, that is where we are going to guard.”
Occasionally, when larger numbers of people remain on the beach in the evening hours, lifeguards will remain on duty at their discretion. That isn’t a given though.
In 2021, Flagler Beach lifeguards made more than 100 rescues — 84 were riptide related and 17 were surf rescues.
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area:
Not just a beach. This park is 144 acres featuring bicycling trails, boat ramp, campsites, raised grills, a nature trail and well, yes, unlimited access to the beach along the Atlantic Ocean. It also is bordered by the Intracoastal Waterway on its western side providing a completely different aquatic experience. Rent a kayak and explore the mangroves.
Its beach is a popular spot for those seeking a quieter experience. Its sand with its close to deep cinnamon color is also a welcoming change from latte or cocoa colors commonly found on the state’s east coast. Its sparkle is a bit easier on the eyes and the heat it retains is a bit friendlier to bare feet.
Low tide at its beach attracts a feeding frenzy of shore birds and the opportunity to snap their pictures. The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail runs through the park as well providing opportunities to see other types of native species.
Learn more about Gamble Rogers online at and click on the words, “Camping and Lodging,” next to the yellow tent icon on the right side of the home page for overnight accommodation and search for the park by name for other information. Accessible bathrooms and showers are available along with beach wheelchairs being available by reservation. Camping reservations, which can be made 11 months in advance, are recommended. Phone (800) 326-3521.

Washington Oaks
Gardens State Park

The above-mentioned birding trail runs through this park situated on the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River just south of St. Augustine. The trail is open to bicycle and foot traffic.
A formal garden featuring azaleas, bird of paradise, camellias and roses is within this park.
Its beach along the Atlantic Ocean features gorgeous and unique coquina rock formations that facilitate tidal pool exploration and plenty of terrific photo opportunities. Accessibility again is a key feature of this park.
Covered pavilions with ten picnic tables, restrooms and broad walkways welcome visitors with special needs.
The park’s “First Friday Garden Walk” led by a park ranger from 10 to 11:30 AM takes visitors on a guided tour of the park’s formal garden and includes a narrative of its history. Wearing comfortable shoes and bringing water and bug spray is advised. Dates are June 3, July 1 and August 5.

Beyond the Beach …

So, of course, hitting the beach will always be a big part of summer — especially here in Palm Coast with our geographic proximity to sand and surf.
But for those who aren’t big fans of Mother Nature’s elevated heat and humidity in June, July and August, there’s most excellent news regarding the myriad of indoor activities this city boosts: There are lots of ways to beat the heat and stay cool with worthwhile activities.

Cooking, Learning and Reading

Let’s start at the library where much more than just book reading is on tap.
“We have what can be called edutainment,” noted Joe Saloom, assistant library director of the Flagler County Public Library. “It’s definitely hot outside. It will keep you out of the heat by coming to the library and you will be learning a little while you are here.”
Movie matinees are slated for two Fridays in June at 1 PM.
A cooking class with Chef Warren titled, “Healthy Southern Cuisine,” is slated to teach attendees “how to transform traditional southern dishes into healthier ones without losing their essence,” on Friday, June 10 at 2 PM.
At 10 AM on the first Saturday in June, the library’s “Kids Summer Performer Series” kicks off with a show by Mark Alan Comedy Magic slated to also feature the kickoff of, and registration for, the library’s summer reading program, “Oceans of Possibilities.”
Other June presentations of the kids’ summer performer series are scheduled for 9:30 and 11 AM on Tuesdays. These include Katie Adams of the “Make Believe Theater” as she discusses what treasures lie at the spot marked “X,” on June 7. On June 14, “The Amazing Mr. A,” takes watchers on a trip to see what is in Davey Jones’ Locker. On June 21, the performer series changes from the topic of pirates to another one applicable to the lives of Florida kids: mosquitos. Nicole Graves, public information specialist at the East Flagler Mosquito Control District, will read from the book, “Mosquitos Can’t Bite Ninjas,” by Jordan Novak in an effort to teach participants how to help control mosquito populations while protecting themselves from bites, all the while giving a nod to the library’s summer reading program. June’s final presentation on the 28th is “Just Add Rhythm,” during which kids will get to drum, move, and play games while working together. All programs are free but do require pre-registration by calling Youth Services at (386) 446-6763, ext. 3714 or via email at
Kids ages four to eight get to work on their reading skills while telling a story with one of the Canine Ambassadors from the Flagler Humane Society on Wednesdays from 4 to 5 PM, participating in the Paws 2 Read program.
Pixels and Perlers is a gaming club for students grades eight through 12 held every other Friday for June, July and August starting on June 10 at 3 PM in the Teen Spot room. The group plays Switch games and designs 8-bit art.
Other regularly-scheduled clubs held at the library for June, July and August include:
Anime Club: Teens in grades six through 12 can hang out watching anime and munching down on snacks provided. The group meets at 4 PM every other Thursday starting on June 9.
Baby Storytime: Never too early to get kids interested in literacy. This half-hour program is for infants from newborn to 24 months accompanied by an adult. It features stories, songs and interactive play. This is every Thursday at 10 AM starting on June 2.
Tabletop Thursday: Classic board game play available to students in grades four through seven starting at 4 PM every other Thursday, starting June 2.
Tween Club: Hands on crafts and activities for student grades four through seven. Club is held every other Friday at 4:30 PM starting on June 3.

Flagler Technical College

Spend part of your summer learning.
As of our press time in mid-May, Pam Sarria, the coordinator overseeing the community education program at the technical college, said she was still verifying scheduling for summer 2022 classes.
However, she did confirm that yoga, Zumba, a couple of aqua exercise classes, swimming lessons, a motorcycle driving class, a teen babysitting class, CPR classes, a ServeSafe certification class and a stained glass creation class are planned.
The water-oriented classes will still be held at the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club. Non-water classes are scheduled to be held at the technical college’s newest addition at 5633 N. Oceanshore Bouvelard right off from A1A opposite of the water tower and north of Publix.
Summer classes at the technical school could also help attendees maintain a schedule of sorts, Sarria noted.
“A lot of times, people’s schedules get thrown to the wayside in the summer,” she said. “But if you have a schedule you are following for say attending a class and you have something to look forward to each week, then come fall, it isn’t as hard to get back on track schedule wise.”
Register for classes at Flagler Technical College online at by calling the A1A office at (386) 446-6730.

Active Seniors

A free class to develop balance, coordination, core strength, flexibility and range of motion is offered on Thurdays at the Palm Coast Community Center from noon to 12:45 PM. It is coordinated in conjunction with the Florida Health Care Plans and is facilitated by Artie G., a senior fitness specialist. The class is gentle, upbeat and supportive of all fitness levels. Register online at
Two wellness workshops are also scheduled. Dates are Thursday, June 30, for “Skincare as we Age,” presented by Mid Florida Dermatology and Thursday, July 28, for “Salad in a Mason Jar” presented by a registered dietician. Workshops are free of charge and run for an hour starting at 10 AM.
Senior Social Corner is scheduled for Tuesdays from 12:30 to 4 PM at the Palm Coast Community Center. It is a free event designed to get seniors out of the house and socializing either catching up with old friends and or making new friends playing board games or just visiting over a cup of coffee or sipping a tea.
A widow/widower’s support group is slated for Thursdays for an hour starting at 10:30 AM at the Palm Coast Community Center for those experiencing the loss of a significant other in their life. The group provides the opportunity to meet others in the same circumstance.