2500 Princess Place Rd
Palm Coast, Florida 32137
Princess Place Preserve is a beautiful place that is an oasis of natural Old Florida.
It is located on 1,500 pristine acres in the northern part of Flagler County near Palm Coast 23 miles south of St. Augustine.
The preserve is located on a wooded site at the mouth of Pellicer Creek and the Matanzas River. It is on the west side of the river across from Marineland.
It is a Flagler County park and operated by their Parks and Recreation Department. The park was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
Princess Place Preserve has a rich history.
In 1791 the King of Spain granted 1,100 acres to Francisco Pellicer.
A man named Henry Cutting bought the land in 1886. He built a hunting lodge on the property he named "Cherokee Grove".
Local materials were used in its construction including cedar, cabbage palms, and pink coquina rock.
Henry died at a very young age and left the lodge and property to his widow, Angela.
She got married twice after Henry died, and her third husband was Prince Boris Scherbatow. Boris was an exiled Russian prince, so Angela assumed the title of Princess.
Not long after that event, the lodge began to be called "Princess Place".
Princess Place Preserve is a tranquil place, a glimpse of what Old Florida was like and what many of us miss.
The day I visited, the only sound on the property was the wind whispering through the many live oak and palm trees.
The only motion I was aware of were the gentle movements of the branches and leaves of the many trees.
Birds were singing, and the marsh grasses along the shoreline were rippling in the light breeze.
The lodge has a visitor's room with bench seating and has a continuing video showing you the various rooms in the place.
Lodge tours are given every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., weather permitting.
The lodge is the oldest intact structure in Flagler County.
Even though it is a quiet oasis, there are still plenty of things to do.
Horse lovers enjoy the place because there is an equestrian campsite for them and many miles of equestrian trails for relaxed riding.
The natural environment is laced with numerous miles of trails for hiking.
It's a great place to ride, hike, explore in a kayak or canoe, camp, go fishing or have a picnic. There are several sites for tent camping.
Or do as I do, and just sit on the wraparound porch of the lodge and rock in a chair overlooking the river and salt marshes.
I was there on a Tuesday in late September and was the only visitor. That made it a very peaceful place for sure.
From the minute you cross the covered bridge into the preserve, you will feel refreshed and ready to relax.
In addition to the lodge, the preserve also has an old livery stable, a bath house, and the first in-ground swimming pool in the State of Florida.
The pool was fed by artesian well water.
From I-95, take Exit 298 to US Highway 1. Go south on US-1 toward Bunnell. Turn left on Old Kings Road. The entrance to Princess Place Preserve is named Princess Place Road and is about 1.5 miles on the left.
Old Kings Road is a historical route, as the historical marker shows. It is paved, but the driveway to the preserve is not.
It is a well maintained dirt road, however, and is no problem for a regular car or bicycle.