The restoration of the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin and its system of wetlands depends in large part upon this St. Johns River Water Management District property. It is an excellent spot for ducks, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, sparrows and blackbirds. Park at the public parking area on 137th Ave. Rd./Old River Rd. and hike the short trail to the levee on the C-212 canal that parallels the wetland. An overlook platform across the canal gives you a higher vantage of the marsh. At this point, head either north or south and bird along the levee trail, which forms a 10-mile loop around the marsh, canal and the historic Ocklawaha River channel. Or simply watch from the extensive marsh boardwalk. Species you may encounter include Mottled Duck, both whistling-ducks, Sandhill Crane, Limpkin and Wood Stork. Between the parking area and the levee overlook, another loop trail breaks off and leads northwest through drier, upland habitats. Look for Red-shouldered Hawk, Blue-headed Vireo (winter), Gopher Tortoise and Gray Fox. Included within the restoration area is the 314-acre Chernobyl Memorial Forest (accessed from CR 464C), which honors the victims and survivors of the Ukrainian nuclear disaster in 1986. It is planted in longleaf pine to symbolize renewal, rebirth and restoration. Check for woodpeckers, Eastern Bluebird and look overhead for Swallow-tailed Kite. Portions of the property will be closed intermittently as part of ongoing restoration efforts. Seasonal hunting occurs at this site; please click here for dates, regulations and more information.