James E. Grey Preserve and Pithlachascotee River

6938 Plathe Rd., New Port Richey, 34653
(727) 841-4560
sunrise to sunset

kayak

An unexpected treasure in the middle of New Port Richey, this preserve has a site checklist of more than 150 bird species. Visitors may hike the river or upland (scrub and sandhills) loop trails or paddle the river, which changes quickly from a wide waterway to a winding stream over-arched with vegetation. Bald Eagles and Short-tailed Hawks nest nearby and are often seen at the preserve. Look for Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, Wood Ducks and Limpkins along the water, and songbirds like Cedar Waxwings and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers in the canopy. Songbird migrants like Veery, Swainson’s Thrush, Tennessee Warbler, and Scarlet Tanager pass through during spring and fall. Chuck-will’s-widows and Barred Owls are present all year; listen for their calls towards evening. Watch for Gopher Tortoises in the sandhills and scrub. Bobcats are spotted in the preserve on occasion, so be alert and keep your voices down to improve your odds of seeing one. Park amenities include a canoe launch, boardwalk and observation deck. No pets are allowed at this preserve.

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