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
Ferndale Preserve
Ferndale Preserve is located on the western shore of Lake Apopka and just a few miles from Sugarloaf Mountain the highest point in peninsular Florida. This unique location gives the preserve a high point of 162' above sea level and a view of both Lake Apopka and on clear days the Orlando skyline. As if scenic vistas weren't enough the preserve boosts an enormous amount of wildlife. More than 180 species of birds, 50 species of butterflies, not to mention numerous mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The preserve also contains a protected historical site that has been recreated in educational panels near the preserve's entrance. Read More...
Upcoming Events
7:30 - 11 a.m. at Ellis Acres Reserve, Paisley
Experienced bird-watching volunteers are invited to help conduct bird surveys at this restoration habitat. Birders must be able to identify most common birds by sight or sound and have their own binoculars and field guides. Volunteers participating in the butterfly survey should be able to identify most common species. This activity will include hiking approximately two miles on trails. Reservations are encouraged.
10 - 11:30 a.m. at Lake May Reserve, Eustis
In this all-ages class, kids will learn camping basics including setting up camp, sleeping in a tent, staying safe, and of course roasting marshmallows. Reservations are encouraged.
10 - 11 a.m. at Green Mountain Scenic Overlook, Ferndale
The public is welcome to the opening of the Green Mountain Scenic Byway trailhead! World class triathletes Alicia Kaye and Jarrod Shoemaker will be at the ceremony to open the new facility which features a 130-foot elevated boardwalk and overlook.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at PEAR Park Nature Center, Leesburg
The Nature center has a nice collection of rocks, minerals, fossils, sands, shells, and other natural specimens of interest to children and adults. Come learn about rock and mineral classification. Look at sand samples under the microscope. For the young, try hands on activities. See if you can identify animals from their skins or bones or identify types of rocks. Ask questions off or get help and instruction from former science teacher. There are over 4 miles of hiking trails through meadows, scrub jay habitats and woods along the Palatlakaha River to explore. Plants are identified along a nature trail and in demonstration gardens of native plants. Hike to a children’s play ground. Bring lunch spend the day and picnic at the nature center.
8 - 11 a.m. at Ferndale Preserve, Ferndale
12 species of sparrows have been seen at Ferndale Preserve. Park Ranger Gallus Quigley will help you learn to identify these elusive little brown birds on a hike through the preserve. Reservations are encouraged.
8:30 - 9:30 a.m. at Palatlakaha River Park & Boat Ramp, Clermont
Join park rangers in search of gopher tortoises, bobcats, and rare plants on this guided tour of the park. Reservations are encouraged.
5:30 - 7 p.m. at PEAR Park Wildlife Conservation Area, Leesburg
Bring a blanket to sit on and spend part of this year's longest night looking at the stars with park rangers. Reservations are encouraged.
view all events »
 
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) 343-3777.

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) 343-3777.

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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