Visitors to the Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area and its interpretive conservation center will certainly enjoy this tranquil site. The WEA consists of sandhills, hardwoods and freshwater wetlands found on two separate tracts connected by the 2-mile Prairie to Pines Trail. The Conservation Center Tract has a superb family friendly complex, a butterfly and native plant garden, and a bird feeder station. There is a large colony of Brazilian Free-tailed Bats, a marsh viewing blind and 2 miles of trails and boardwalks. Check the dead pines near the conservation center and you’ll see why this location is the “Red-headed Woodpecker Capital of Florida.” Stroll along the Nature Trail which loops around Mays Prairie, an ephemeral wetland which may be wet or dry, depending on recent rainfall. From the viewing blind you may spot Sandhill Crane, and winter ducks like Blue-winged Teal. The Cypress Walk through a small swamp leads to a boardwalk and observation point on the north side of Mays Prairie. A trailhead on Snow Memorial Hwy. allows convenient access to either tract via the Pines to Prairie Trail; park here and go north to hike the conservation center’s trails when the center is closed. Or go southwest to the Big Pine Tract, which also has its own parking area (and restroom) on Old Crystal River Rd. 75+ butterfly species have been recorded at the WEA plus Gopher Frogs, Gopher Tortoise and Sherman’s Fox Squirrel. Chinsegut Conservation Center offers programs, special events and workshops throughout the year.