The “Natural Land Bridge” between the River Rise and River Sink areas on the Santa Fe River has been an important crossing for travelers for at least 7,000 years. Dozens of miles of multi-use trails permit modern visitors to search for wildlife in these adjoining state parks’ hardwood hammocks, river swamps and sandhills. From O’Leno’s main entrance, take the River Trail which traverses the river via a suspension bridge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The trail runs through riparian hardwoods for 1.5 miles to a sinkhole where the river goes underground. The trails through mesic uplands off Bellamy Rd. especially Paraner’s Loop Trail, showcase migrant songbirds like Black-throated Blue Warblers and breeders like Acadian Flycatchers. From the south entrance off US 441, the River Rise Trail leads to a spot where the underground river re-emerges inside River Rise Preserve State Park. Search for other breeding birds such as Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Wild Turkey, Mississippi Kite, Barred Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Hooded Warbler, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak and Bachman’s Sparrow; additional wildlife species include Gopher Tortoise, and Gopher Frog. Bicycles and canoes can be rented here to cover more ground and cabins and camping options are available.