Perhaps there's no better way to view Daphne's history and beauty than a brisk walk through Village Pointe Park Preserve, off Scenic 98.

Evidence of Indians, Spanish, French and English settlers has been found in the park, and while you won't see historic replicas of these forebears, you will see the land they were attracted by.

Rich with native trees, streams, tidal pools and wetlands, Village Pointe can be explored on foot or bike. Walk the dog or grab your fishing pool or towel because at the end you'll find a fishing pier and beach with panoramic views of Mobile Bay.

A brisk 20 minute walk past cypress knee swamps, deep forests to your final destination. Stop midway to view the Jackson Oak, some 95 feet tall and 28 feet in circumference, believed to be where Gen. Andrew Jackson addressed his troops in the War of 1812. According to the park site, the oak was shown on a survey in the original Spanish Land Grant map of 1787.

Even though I know this area well, it's still a wonder to emerge through the woods and find the beach.