Florida Guide > Other Florida
Great Florida Birding Trail.
While holidaying in Florida, you may have heard of the Great Birding Trail; well what is it you ask?
It was inspired by the Texas Birding Trail which was a pioneer in this kind of work. Initially their trails covered just the coastline, but now they traverse the whole country. Florida has very much used the Texan experience to set up their very own version.
The Florida Great Birding Trail covers 2000 miles and 445 locations throughout the State. It is part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife conservation work and they have been ably supported by both The Wildlife Foundation of Florida and The Florida Department of Transpotation.
The trail is divided into clusters and each cluster contains up to 15 locations.
The trail is a fairly recent innovation with East Florida section being first in 2000, then the West Florida Section in 2002 and the Panhandle Florida Section and the South Florida Section following in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
To assist you in discovering these trails, look for the Gateway Sies; these are always situated where the birding is especially good.
Every gateway has masses of information on birding to appeal to all (even an absolute beginner) One of the super features, is the free loan of binoculars; these have been donated by several companies.
Visit the following Great Florida Birding Trail sites
East Florida Section:
Ft. Clinch State Park (Fernandina Beach) Gateway
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (Titusville) *Gateway
Tenoroc Fish Management Area (Lakeland) *Gateway
Silver River State Park (Ocala)
Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge (DeLeon Springs)
Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (Vero Beach)
Highlands Hammock State Park (Sebring)
West Florida Section:
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park (Gainesville) *Gateway
Ft. De Soto Park (St. Petersburg) *Gateway
Ladell Brothers Outdoor Environmental Center (Madison)
Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park (New Port Richey)
Panhandle Florida Section:
Big Lagoon State Park (Pensacola) *Gateway
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (Tallahassee) *Gateway
Rocky Bayou State Park (Niceville)
Gulf Islands National Seashore: Fort Pickens Area (Pensacola)
Blackwater River State Park (Harold)
Henderson Beach State Park (Destin)
Grayton Beach State Park (Grayton Beach)
Lynn Haven Sports Complex and Nature Trail (Lynn Haven)
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park (Port St. Joe)
St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge (Apalachicola)
Three Rivers State Park (Sneads)
South Florida Section:
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (Naples) *Gateway
Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (West Palm Beach) *Gateway
You may have already visited or thought about visiting some or all of the parks listed; I do hope this information adds to the enjoyment of your next visit. Happy Birding and Happy Returns to a Florida holiday filled with a myriad of different experiences!
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