Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve

1001 Old Rock Rd., Yankeetown, 34498
(352) 447-0774
Daily, sunrise to sunset


This Town of Yankeetown property features salt marsh, pine flatwoods and mixed hammocks of hardwoods, cedars and palms, plus tidal ponds and creeks. Visitors have over 3 miles of well-marked hiking and biking trails to explore. The Ellie Schiller Education Center has programs, museum exhibits and a butterfly garden. Guided group tours can be arranged by calling in advance. Start your exploration on the Salt Pond Trail, which has an extensive wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. Near the western end of the preserve stands a 30-foot observation tower with a magnificent view of the immense salt marsh and tree islands on the Gulf of Mexico; watch for Osprey and Chimney Swift zooming past. Look and listen for Clapper Rail, Great Egret and Tricolored Heron here too. A kayak launch is located at the far western end (be prepared to tote your kayak about 0.3 miles from the last parking area); paddle your way along the tidal creeks down to Bird Creek Park at the end of CR 40; consult a tide table and the weather beforehand. Butterfly viewing is excellent at this site! Look for Queen, Red Admiral, Gulf Fritillary and Black Swallowtail; the salt marsh and tidal flats host Aaron’s Skipper, Salt Marsh Skipper and Eastern Pygmy-Blue. Search among the red cedars for Sweadner’s Juniper Hairstreak.

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