In 2015, planned improvements to the Horton Pond area were completed in partnership with the Jekyll Island Foundation. Our goal for this project was to provide a space for people to enjoy nature, to inspire better public stewardship of the site, to improve habitat value for wildlife, and to increase educational opportunities.
The new observation deck is wheelchair accessible and provides a wonderful view of the whole pond. A floating platform has been anchored in the pond to attract turtles, alligators, and birds to rest where they can easily and safely be seen from the deck. The low lying promontory on the north side of the pond has been modified to form a small island, thereby providing habitat that is designed to attract nesting wading birds.
The new nature trail has been named Tupelo Trail and is a 0.7 mile loop that begins near the observation deck and passes through several of Jekyll Island’s maritime plant communities. Plant identification plaques are posted along the trail.
The facilities are simple so as not to intrude on the surroundings and include a small parking area and a bicycle rack. Horton Pond is one of Jekyll Island’s hidden gems. Discover it down the unmarked road leading into the woods across the street from the Villas by the Sea Resort’s main entrance.
Please be mindful to pick up after yourself and others when visiting and remember, feeding any wild animals, including alligators and turtles, is strictly prohibited on Jekyll Island.