Lake County Parks & Trails Newsletter
 
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The Lake County Department of Public Resources, Parks & Trails Division, manages more than three dozen parks, preserves and boat ramps. The Division's park rangers lead regularly scheduled nature hikes and bird and butterfly surveys in a select few of these parks in addition to properties owned by the Lake County Water Authority and St. Johns River Water Management District.

Park of the Month
Ellis Acres Preserve
Ellis Acres Preserve is located adjacent to the Ocala National Forest and Seminole State Forest. It offers several miles of hiking trails through remnant Pinewoods and old pastureland. The area is great for birding and wildlife viewing. Late summer often produces large numbers of Swallow-tailed Kites over the old fields, the property also has nesting Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, and Red-headed Woodpeckers. Other species seen are Coyote, Bobcat, Florida Black Bear, and White-tailed Deer. Read More...
Upcoming Events
8:30 - 11 a.m. at PEAR Park Wildlife Conservation Area, Leesburg
Blitz provides a spring "snap shot" of Eastern Bluebirds at PEAR Park and helps add to our knowledge of populations and distribution of Eastern Bluebird across the state. Binoculars are required.Remember to bring whatever you need for an outdoor hike Reservations are encouraged.
9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at PEAR Park WCA, Leesburg
Explore the nature center, which features a collection of rocks, fossils,shells and minerals. A hands-on mini course on identifying fossils takes place from 10 a.m. - noon for ages 10 and up when accompanied by an adult.
10 a.m. - 12 p.m. at PEAR Park Wildlife Conservation Area, Leesburg
A hands-on mini course on fossils is offered for students ages 10 and up, accompanied by an adult. Reservations are encouraged.
8 a.m. - 12 p.m. at PEAR Park WCA, Leesburg
This annual event helps promote the use of native plants in landscaping, with proceeds benefitting the PEAR Park Association, a volunteer group that supports conservation efforts at PEAR Park.
7:30 - 11 a.m. at Ellis Acres Reserve, Paisley
Volunteers are needed to assist in surveying the population of birds and butterflies on the property. Experience is a plus, but not required. Please bring your own binoculars. Field guide, water, snack, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent are also suggested. Reservations are encouraged.
7 - 9 p.m. at PEAR Park Gateway, Leesburg
Join staff on an adventure to try to spot wildlife as the sun sets at PEAR Park. Reservations are encouraged.
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Ellis Acres Reserve, Paisley
Join staff for a paddle around the forested lakeshore of Lake Akron, featuring a nice mix of native aquatic and wetland vegetation provides plenty of opportunities for viewing water birds. Wildlife is abundant at Ellis Acres Reserve. Plan on packing a lunch. Reservations are required. To make reservations for the paddling adventures, call the Lake County Water Authority at (352) 324-6141.
9 - 11 a.m. at Ferndale Preserve, Ferndale
Celebrate Earth Day by providing some helping hands and learning plant identification at Ferndale Preserve. Bring gloves, sun protection and water. Reservations are encouraged.
7:30 - 11 a.m. at Lake May Reserve, Eustis
Volunteers wants to assist in surveying the population of birds & butterflies on the property. Experience is a plus but not required. Must bring own binoculars. Field guide, water, snack, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent are also suggested Reservations are encouraged.
7:30 - 11 a.m. at Ferndale Preserve, Ferndale
Volunteers wants to assist in surveying the population of birds & butterflies on the property. Experience is a plus but not required. Must bring own binoculars. Field guide, water, snack, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent are also suggested Reservations are encouraged.
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Information about Guided Hikes & Surveys

Park rangers recomends participants of the nature hikes and bird & butterfly surveys to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Hikers should also bring binoculars, field guides, cameras, sunscreen, insect repellent, water and snacks.

Reservations are required for all guided hikes and bird & butterfly surveys. Most hikes are limited to the first 20 individuals to place reservations. To make reservations for the guided hikes and bird & butterfly surveys, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at (352) 253-4950 or e-mail parksandtrails@lakecountyfl.gov.


HIKING DIFFICULTY RATING
1 - These hikes offer an easy pace and an average-to-sedentary level of fitness. Hikes are usually on a paved trail or boardwalk. Distance is typically 1 mile or less.

2 - An average level of fitness is recommended as these moderate hikes may be on a trail of uneven terrain. Distance is typically 2 miles or less.

3 - These hikes are generally more challenging, depending on an individual’s experience and level of fitness. Hikes are more difficult due to hills and distances of greater than 2 miles.
Information about PADDLING ADVENTURES

The Lake County Water Authority coordinates all paddling adventures. For more information on these guided tours, contact the Lake County Water Authority at 352-324-6141.

Reservations are required for all paddling adventures. Most paddling adventures are limited to the first 15 vessels to place reservations. To make reservations for the paddling adventures, call the Lake County Water Authority at 352-324-6141.

PADDLING DIFFICULTY RATING
1 — These paddling adventures offer an easy pace and an average-to-sedentary level of fitness. Paddling may be on local creeks or shorelines. Time is usually two hours or less and distance is typically 1 mile or less, depending on currents.

2 — An average level of fitness is recommended as these moderate paddles may be on a blueway with obstructions or currents. Time is usually three hours or less and distance is typically 2-4 miles.

3 — These paddling adventures are generally more challenging, depending on an individual’s experience and level of fitness. Paddling is more difficult due to length of blueway and paddling conditions. Time is more than three hours and distance is typically more than 4 miles.
 

12929 County Landfill Road, Tavares, Florida 32778 • 352-253-4950 • www.lakecountyfl.gov

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