Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area

Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area

Named for Lakes Kissimmee, Jackson and Marian, Three Lakes WMA has long been a favorite destination for birders. This site supports over 180 species of birds and protects a significant portion of the Kissimmee Prairie, one of the largest remaining dry prairies in Florida. Other major habitats include longleaf pine flatwoods, cypress domes/strands, live oak hammocks and freshwater marshes. Start at the entrance to the Prairie Lakes Unit on Canoe Creek Rd., where you can pick up a map and recreation guide and pay the honor fee. Recreation, driving tour, trail guides and maps of the area can also be ordered online. A 10-mile, educational driving loop winds through the unit, which offers excellent birding. The wildlife drive leads right past a group of Red-cockaded Woodpecker nest trees before the exit. Wild Turkeys, Wood Storks and Limpkins are common. The westernmost portion of the Prairie Lakes Unit has breeding Bachman’s Sparrows, plus Florida Grasshopper Sparrows; the WMA has the largest population of this critically endangered sparrow. Watch for Crested Caracaras and the occasional Short-tailed Hawk; a few White-tailed Kites have bred also. The viewing tower on the south end of Lake Jackson is a good spot to scan for Snail Kites. Butterfly viewing is good; search for American Snout, White M Hairstreak, Tawny Emperor, and rare species like Appalachian Brown, Berry’s Skipper and Arogos Skipper. Be aware that this WMA is a wild and remote location, so come prepared. Seasonal hunting occurs at this site; for more information please click here and check the hunt date calendars provided.

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