Get Outdoors: Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park / Wildlife Encounter Programs
Florida Vacation Guide: Wildlife Encounter Programs at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Black bears, bobcats, manatees, alligators, crocodiles, river otters, white-tailed deer – if you’re hoping to see some native wildlife on your visit to Florida, this is the place to be! The Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park has an underwater observatory where you can watch West Indian manatees go about their business.
This park also offers bird-watching, nature study, a children’s education center and picnic spots. Yes, you may want to bring a picnic because if you really want to explore this park you’ll need at least 3 1/2 to 4 hours to do so.
Hiking and Nature Trail
The 1.10 mile trail that winds through the Wildlife Park includes elevated boardwalk systems and paved trails. In case you get caught in a down pour, there are rain shelters along the way. And if you need to sit for awhile, there are benches as well. Bring your camera because you’ll have many opportunities to capture a memorable moment on film!
Three times a day (11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm), a Wildlife Care Volunteer or Park Ranger presents a program on the history of the manatee. You’ll learn about the State Park’s role in rehabilitating orphaned and injured manatees and you’ll see the park’s two resident manatees as well.
At 10:30am and 2:30pm daily, Wildlife Encounter programs take place at the Wildlife Encounter Pavilion. The native Florida species introduced by a Park Ranger or Wildlife Care Volunteer could be a bird of prey, an opossum, a gopher tortoise or a non-venomous snake. Learn about the species’ range, diet and role in the eco-system.
Alligator and Hippopotamus Program
Daily at 12:30pm, learn about the history of the American alligator and the Park’s African hippopotamus (and how it came to be here).
Wildlife Viewing and Boat Tours
If you’re a bird enthusiast, Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is a great spot to visit. Also, included in park admission (and weather permitting) is a bout tour that will bring you out along Pepper Creek where you can learn about wildlife all along the way.
Will you visit a park near you for Earth Day this weekend?