TAVARES — The Lake County divisions of Parks & Trails and Tourism & Business Relations are proud to be partnering with the Trout Lake Nature Center to promote the Birds and Bicycles event on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Emeralda Marsh.
Emeralda Marsh is a 7,000-acre natural land in North Lake County. Participants can bicycle or walk the 7 miles of the firmly packed clay roads on the Interpretive Drive. For the event, there will be hayride wagons looping around to give walkers a lift.
There will also be informative stations on the levee including: birders with scopes spotting the birds and identifying them; naturalists showing participants insect and butterfly displays; educators demonstrating the role of wetlands; biologists exhibiting live native reptiles and a black bear diorama; Plein air artists transferring the nature’s beauty to canvas; and geocaching sites for the day.
Birds and Bicycles participants can start between 8 and 11:30 a.m. as the event ends at 1 p.m. Participants are encouraged to dress in layers, wear comfortable hiking shoes and a hat. It is also recommended to bring sunscreen, snacks, water, a camera and binoculars. There is a suggested donation of $5 per adult and $3 per child under age 16.
Sponsors and partners of the Birds and Bicycles event include Trout Lake Nature Center, Lake County Parks & Trails Division, Lake County Water Authority, Lake County Public Lands Management, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Watershed Action Volunteer Program, St. Johns River Water Management District, Mount Dora Center for the Arts, Ocklawaha Valley Audubon Society, Beautyberry chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and Promise Ranch.
For more information or to sign up for the event, call (352) 357-7536 or log on to www.troutlakenature.org.
Directions to Emeralda Marsh from Leesburg: Take U.S. Highway 441 to County Road 44. Proceed east, crossing Haynes Creek canal. Shortly after crossing canal, turn north on to Emeralda Island Road, proceed, to the “T” intersection, turn left, proceed around the sharp curve, Wood Duck parking lot is on the left.
Directions to Emeralda Marsh from Eustis and Mount Dora: Take State Road 19 north through Eustis, turn left on County Road 44. Turn north onto Emeralda Island Road, proceed to the “T” intersection, turn left, proceed around the sharp curve, Wood Duck parking lot is on the left.