FERNDALE — The Lake County Parks & Trails Division announced this month that it is opening to the public the 192-acre Ferndale Preserve, which is located off County Road 455 in South Lake County, after several years of making improvements to the purchased property.
Ferndale Preserve is open Wednesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The preserve is the first County park to feature an equestrian trail. Other activities that can be enjoyed at the preserve include biking, hiking, picnicking, bird watching and wildlife viewing.
Ferndale Preserve features a variety of birds and other wildlife due to its diverse habitats, including shoreline along Lake Apopka, meadows, forests and wetlands. In addition, the preserve’s elevation allows for picturesque views of Lake Apopka and the hilly countryside present along County Road 455, a state designated scenic byway called the Green Mountain Scenic Byway.
Some of the improvements that were made to the preserve since the County partnered with the Lake County Water Authority and St. Johns River Water Management District in 2006 to purchase the property include construction of a pavilion, grassy parking lot and marked recreational trails. Much of the time-intensive work that has been accomplished at the park includes land restoration activities, such as uprooting non-native plant species and planting native vegetation.
For more information or to make reservations for Ferndale Preserve’s pavilion, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at (352) 253-4950 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.