TAVARES – The Lake County Parks & Trails Division is closing 2014 with two free cool-weather events hosted by park rangers.
The “Explore Your Park Hike” will be held from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14 at the Palatlakaha River Park & Boat Ramp located at 12325 Hull Road, Clermont. This guided hiking tour will offer participants an opportunity to search for gopher tortoises, bobcats and rare plants.
This 23-acre public land offers boaters access to the Crooked River and the Clermont Chain of Lakes. The park has two fishing piers, a playground and a pavilion with a grill, as well as a nearly 1-mile loop trail that passes through the 18 acres of habitat managed for the Florida Scrub-Jay.
Night owls will be offered an opportunity to join rangers for the “Winter Solstice Stargazing” event from 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 21 at the Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park Wildlife Conservation Area, 4880 University Ave., Leesburg. Participants are asked to bring a blanket to sit on while spending part of the year's longest night looking at the stars.
At 318 acres, PEAR Park is the largest county park. The back 268 acres feature a community garden, native butterfly garden, xeric garden, two scenic pavilions and access to four miles of hiking and nature trails through meadows, Scrub Jay habitats and woods along the Palatlakaha River. The front 50 acres is known as the Gateway and contains a playground, ballfields and a dog park.
For more information about upcoming events and to register for the open house, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at 352-253-4950, email email@example.com or visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks. To view updates about the County’s Parks & Trails Program, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLParks.