Access the Trail
How to Find the Trail
The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail consists of four sections. There are 515 separate locations currently on the Trail. Click on the section names below for listings of sites arranged geographically by cluster (as they appear in the guidebooks):
- East Florida Section (opened Nov. 2000, 188 sites)
- West Florida Section (opened Nov. 2002, 120 sites)
- Panhandle Florida Section (opened May 2004, 85 sites)
- South Florida Section (opened Jan. 2006, 122 sites)
Maps, specific information on site features/amenities, habitats and species information can be found in the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail guidebooks and the Trip-Planning Wizard.
To better introduce visitors to the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, we designated nine “gateway” sites at exceptional birding locations. There are two or three gateways located in each Trail section. Gateways have staffed visitor centers and serve as hubs for Trail information. Each gateway has a special kiosk with birdwatching tips for beginners and introductory information regarding the Trail. Loaner optics can be checked out for free for a day with a driver’s license or major credit card at all gateway locations. Or stop by and pick up a copy of the Trail's guide booklets.
Visit these gateway locations:
East Florida Section:
- Fort Clinch State Park (Fernandina Beach)
- Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (Titusville)
- Tenoroc Fish Management Area (Lakeland)
West Florida Section:
Panhandle Florida Section:
South Florida Section:
- Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (West Palm Beach)
- Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (Naples)
How to get a guidebook to the Trail
1) Download a copy of the guides as PDFs or order guides in various formats from the Wildlife Foundation of Florida's gift store [Panhandle 2011 (hard copy), East 2012 (CD) or all 4 guides as PDFs on a flash drive).]
2) Request a free paper copy to be mailed to you (West, South, East 2002 edition).
3) Purchase an e-book version of the full color 2012 East section guide created for Kindle devices (works on iPads and iPhones too with a free Kindle for iPad/iPhone app) through Amazon.com. E-books for the remaining sections will follow.
4) Pick up free hard copies at any number of nature centers throughout the state, or visit one of the gateway sites (see below, under Gateways).
5) An extended "Guide to the Great Florida Birding Trail: East Section" was released in book form by the University Press of Florida in 2002. It is available for purchase online, and may be found in some bookstores.
Additional Trail information can be found by:
A) using the Trail Locations and Trip-Planning Wizard quick links found on each web page
C) downloading or subscribing to the GFBWT's Kite Tales newsletter
For a successful trip
Check the guidebooks in advance to make sure you're visiting seasonal sites at the right time of year.
Call ahead to visit sites that are by appointment only, or to enquire about possible closures.