Withlacoochee River Park

12449 Withlacoochee Blvd., Dade City, 33525
(352) 567-0264
sunrise to sunset

warbler

This park protects sandhill bluffs overlooking the river, as well as floodplain forest, a small wet prairie and other seasonal wetlands. A perfect complement to the nearby Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve: West Tract, this park is a microcosm of that larger property, with amenities like a 40-foot viewing tower, picnic shelters and restrooms for family birding. The Florida Trail Association maintains 5 miles of hiking trails in the park; 8 miles of additional trails (including a 1.7-mile paved trail) are available. Among the birds recorded here are King Rail, American Woodcock, Barn Owl and Sedge Wren. Wading birds like Glossy Ibis, American Bittern (winter) and Limpkin have turned up here, and overwintering songbirds like Black-and-white Warbler, Baltimore Oriole and Hermit Thrush are possible. Winter sparrow diversity is outstanding, with Henslow’s, Lincoln’s, Vesper and Clay-colored Sparrows among the possibilities. Listen for Eastern Whip-poor-wills calling on winter nights; Barred Owls and Great Horned Owls may be heard all year. A canoe launch enables exploration of the river (be prepared for a 100-foot carry from the parking area). Primitive camping is allowed with a free permit; call ahead for details. Don’t miss the Native American village.

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