Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari
Hours: MARCH 1st, – MAY 23rd
|Mon-Sat||open 10:00 AM|
|Sunday||open 1:00 PM|
|Last car admitted||4:00 PM|
|Gates Closes at||6:00 PM|
Hours change with each season*
Prices + Taxes
Each paid Admission comes with one sack of feed.
|Kids ages 3-12||$10.95 each|
|Senior ages 65+||$13.95 each|
They also offer discounted admission for groups of 15+ & 50+
If adventure is what you’re looking for, that is exactly what you will find at the Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru in Jacksonville.
Tucked back in the woods of Rusk county is a 300-acre preserve, filled with some of the most unique animals you have ever seen. And I can assure you, you have never been this close and personal, haha!
You get a bag of food per person and it seems, no matter how busy the trail is these animals always come for more.
THE RULE IS: throw the food out the window so the animals won’t get too close to your car.
….But, it was too hard not to. Especially with these adorable Zebras everywhere!
But, we did get a couple scratches and paint chips from some of the animals so be aware that is can happen.
Abigayle was, of course, much more timid than Seri in the beginning… She has harsh boundaries when it comes to animals. Especially, the GIANT kinds!
However Seri, AKA Dr. Dolittle, was in HEAVEN…
*Disclaimer: We may be considered terrible parents for this video, but the was one of the most hilarious events ever captured in adventure history! And.. no one was harmed in the making of this video.
However, this is a perfect example of how CLOSE these animals will get to you.
Yes.. He’s THAT huge!
Not only does the park provide you with food, they also give you a really cool key with the pictures and names of all the animals you’ll see. It’s fun to match the picture to the faces in real life.
Make sure you give yourself AT LEAST two hours to drive thru the safari, and we would really recommend 2.5 hours. Simply because we really enjoyed taking our time and that cut into our picnic after.
*Don’t worry: 1/4 of the way through the trail, there is an option to detour for bathrooms and snacks 🙂
Afterwards, you will have worked up quite the appetite. The reserve has several picnic tables and a cool tipi to play in. You can really spend a whole afternoon here. So even though it is one of the more expensive adventures we’ve taken, it is so worth it!
We have to give a special shout-out to Daddy Tutt for taking one for the team, leisurely driving us through the reserve, listening to all of our squeals, staying cool through all of the bull slobber, and not grounding us for the dings on his truck, hehe 🙂 WE LOVE YOU!
- Stay inside your vehicle at all times.
- Stay out of sunroofs and windows and off hoods of vehicles. No one may ride in the bed of a pickup.
- Feed only the food pellets provided.
- Any other food can cause these animals to have serious health problems.
- Keep doors closed at all times.
- This includes tailgates, van doors, and hatchbacks. Jeeps must have side doors and a top. Convertibles must have the top up.
- Pets are not allowed.
- Domestic animals present a health and safety risk to these animals.
- Remove flags, balls, or other objects from the outside of your vehicle.
- Animals are attracted to them and, if eaten, can cause serious injury. Violation of this policy will result in eviction from the park.
- Stay on the roads.
- Follow the yellow arrow route signs.
- Drop food pellets on the ground do not hand feed.
- Animals may bite, spit, or kick if fed from your hand or a feeding sack.
- Pull to the side of the road when stopping.
- Allow other vehicles to pass.
- Speed limit 10 mph.
- No alcohol allowed on this property.
- No Coach Buses, RV’s, Trailers, Motorcycles, or ATV’s
THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Picnic lunch
- Car with a sunroof (if that’s an option)
- Sense of adventure
- Hand sanitizer & wet wipes
- Extra money for snacks/extra fee/souvenirs
- At least 3-4 hours, if you plan to picnic after
All our love,