TAVARES — Park Rangers with Lake County's Parks & Trails Division are inviting nature enthusiasts to explore Ellis Acres Reserve, located at 25302 County Road 42 in Paisley, during a guided wildlife hike, being held on Friday, Nov. 16 from 8 to 11 a.m.
The hike will give participants a chance to learn about the restoration activities that the reserve has undergone, and continuing efforts to restore the area to its natural habitat.
Ellis Acres Reserve totals approximately 415 acres. The southern 96 acres of the property contain longleaf pine wooded pasture and forested wetlands. The remaining 323 acres includes pasture and wetlands. The property encompasses nearly the entire western shoreline of Lake Akron, and lands west to County Road 42. Many species of wildlife have been observed at the site including the Florida black bear, Florida sandhill crane, white-tailed deer, Sherman’s fox squirrel, and wild turkey.
Ellis Acres will gradually be restored to native sandhill, wetlands, and pine flatwoods communities, with the goal of increasing protected areas for wildlife. The property is in an area identified as a “very high” priority of the state-wide Ecological Greenways Network and is adjacent to both the Ocala National Forest and Seminole State Forest.
The event will consist of walking less than 2 miles along unpaved, and possibly uneven, trails to reach the shoreline of Lake Akron. Participants are encouraged to bring water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat and hiking shoes. Reservations are strongly recommended, but are not required.
For more information or reservations, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at 352-253-4950, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks.