Sawgrass Island Preserve

12501 Sawgrass Island Rd., Umatilla, 32784
(352) 343-3777
Daily, 8:00am to sunset


Located at the north end of Lake Yale, this preserve has an impressive 600-acre sawgrass marsh, plus additional wetlands home to resident Florida Sandhill Cranes, Northern Harriers (winter), Little Blue Herons and Glossy Ibis. Six multi-use loop trails meander around three sides of the marsh through varied and well-maintained habitats, including mesic and xeric hardwood hammock, pine flatwoods, shrub/brushland and pasture. Multiple ponds attract winter waterfowl such as Ring-necked Ducks and Blue-winged Teal, plus Wilson’s Snipe and Killdeer. Oaks and other hardwoods shelter resident Great Horned Owls and Pileated Woodpeckers. Watch and listen for wintering Blue-headed Vireos, Eastern Phoebes and Gray Catbirds and be on the lookout for Eastern Bluebirds, American Kestrels and wintering sparrows in open areas. Florida Scrub-Jays (rare) are occasionally found near the entrance and southwest side of the preserve. Two primitive campsites are available by permit only (call for details), and guided group tours can be arranged with advance notice. Mosquitoes can be prevalent in warm weather. Bring plenty of water and sun protection.

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