The word hammock is a Native American word meaning cool, high, dry place. Exposure to the beach front, its concentrated salts, wave action and wind directly affects the vegetation and wildlife on the primary dune. This natural coastal dune habitat grew on the dune reaching toward the Atlantic Ocean. The hardwood hammock that exists today is a result of two changes to the property that took place around 1930. At that time, a new road, State Road A1A was developed separating the house from the ocean. Frederic Bartlett had a concrete block wall built along A1A and inserted steps and a gate to maintain access to the beach. Then the Bartletts planted two rows of Australian pines bordering the road along the entire length of their property. This barrier of trees served as a shield from the salt spray permitting the growth of the coastal hammock. Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma destroyed the closed canopy in 2005 taking down almost 50% of the trees. Today we see the resurgence of many native trees and shrubs such as gumbo limbo, paradise, mastic, sea grape, stopper, nicker bean, coco plum and marlberry.
Continue your journey through the hammock to a small clearing that lies just ahead. Be sure to watch your step in this natural area as shifting sand can expose roots.