Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge (South)

16450 NW 31st Pl., Chiefland, 32626
(352) 493-0238
sunrise to sunset

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge (south)

The headquarters and southern portion of this site lie in Levy County. Stop at the office for maps and information, and drop by the large bat house, which is occupied by Brazilian Free-tailed Bats and Southeastern Myotis Bats. The River Trail is a brief lowland walk through a cypress and maple swamp to a boardwalk and a two-level deck at the water’s edge. Pileated Woodpeckers and Barred Owls are here year-round and Prothonotary Warblers nest in summer. For driving access, visit the 9-mile, unpaved Lower Suwannee Nature Drive and cruise through upland pine forests and dark, cool lowlands and swamps. From the nature drive, numerous tram roads run off into the swamp and offer the opportunity to park, get out and hike. In the spring and summer watch for Swallow-tailed Kites gliding over the tree tops; the refuge is an important breeding site for this species. The pinewoods near the north entrance to the drive play host to Northern Bobwhite; look and listen for them in the morning. The Nature Drive is good for butterflies, too. Lace-winged Roadside Skippers, Banded Hairstreaks and Appalachian Browns can be found. The Shell Mound Trail winds around a Native American shell midden, provides excellent views of the salt marsh. Check the mudflats for American Avocets, and Marbled Godwits. Also located at the Shell Mound Unit are a fishing/observation deck, a boat ramp and the Dennis Creek Trail, which has boardwalks, benches and views of uplands, tidal creeks and the marsh. Part of the refuge is open to seasonal hunting; please click here for details.

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