This preserve protects a first magnitude spring, portions of the Weeki Wachee and Mud Rivers, hardwood swamps, sandhills, flatwoods, freshwater marsh, salt marsh and numerous pit lakes. This preserve offers over 10 miles of improved trails and “woodland” roads; visitors may drive into the property on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. Cyclists may also enter via the paved main entrance road and a secondary access road off Shoal Line Blvd. on the west side of the preserve. Grassy areas around the pit lakes shelter 10 species of winter sparrows and other skulkers like Sedge and House Wrens. Henslow’s, Le Conte’s, Grasshopper, Swamp and Savannah Sparrows have been netted and banded here during Florida Ornithological Society “sparrow drive” events. Florida Black Bears live on the property; watch for scat and other signs along the trails. Butterfly viewers may encounter Barred Yellow, Ceraunus Blue, Painted Lady, Horace’s Duskywing and Phaon Crescent. A small hand launch is provided for canoes, kayaks and boats with electric motors. North of the main parking lot, a limited access/research area with four lakes is open to visitors (boats are not allowed in this area, however), but care must be taken not to disturb the wading bird roost; please watch from a respectful distance.