The hiking and mountain biking trails in Halpatiokee Regional Park are closed indefinitely.
Martin County closed 7.5 miles of trails at its largest park on Thursday, until parks and recreation staff and members of the Treasure Coast Airborne Mountain Bike Club can deal with the problem. trail safety against wildlife.
The closure is the result of a biker falling into the water and onto an alligator, which bit him, causing non-life-threatening injuries to his right torso and thigh.
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All other facilities will remain open in the 470-acre park and natural space, including soccer and softball fields, tennis and pickleball courts, disc golf course and roller hockey rink.
“Updates will be provided as they become available,” according to the park’s website.
Robert Bassett, 74, of Palm City, was bitten around 11 a.m. Wednesday when he fell into a stream off the south fork of the St. Lucia River. He was airlifted to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce.
Trapper John Davidson captured the 8-foot-long, 170-pound female alligator and transferred it to the farm in the Fort Drum area, where it will be used for breeding.
Davidson said the alligator may have had a nest nearby.
Bassett is an “experienced” cyclist, who biked Halpatiokee Park almost every day and was familiar with the trails, said Jeff Maher, a friend and owner of Bikes Plus in Palm City.
Ed Killer is the outside writer for TCPalm. Sign up for his newsletter and other weekly newsletters at profile.tcpalm.com/newsletters/manage. Friend Ed on Facebook to Ed Killer, follow him on Twitter @tcpalmekiller or send him an e-mail at[email protected].