The Chinsegut Conservation Center is now open to the general public on Fridays & Saturdays from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The Conservation center will have someone at the building giving out information and the public may hike the trails!
Located 7 miles north of Brooksville, Chinsegut Conservation Center covers 408 of the 850 acres comprising Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA). The area is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and funded by the Pittman-Robertson Program and state legislative appropriations. The Conservation center is the only educational facility operated by the Commission's Office of Public Access and Wildlife Viewing.
Chinsegut was owned in the early 1900s by Col. Raymond Robins, whose colorful career included gold mining in Alaska and serving as an economic advisor to five presidents. Robins named his land "Chinsegut," an Alaskan Inuit Indian word for the "spirit of lost things." Robins used a looser translation: "The place where things of true value that have been lost may be found again."
Robins donated his property to the federal government in 1932 to be used as a wildlife refuge. In 1973 the Commission acquired Chinsegut Conservation Center. Chinsegut WEA grew in 1989, when the Commission acquired an additional 420 acres, known as the Big Pine Tract and reached its current size in 2008 when the Commission acquired an additional 30 acres from The Nature Conservancy.
Chinsegut WEA is home to many wildlife species, and wildlife viewing is possible throughout the year. White-tailed deer are abundant and frequently wander near the building. Turkeys move in and out of the oaks and pines, sometimes roosting in the cypresses next to May's Prairie. Because May's Prairie occasionally becomes dry, the frequent lack of fish makes it a mecca for thousands of amphibians, including pig and bull frogs, dwarf sirens and tiger salamanders, who produce young uninterrupted by hungry fish. The gopher frog, a species of special concern in Florida, calls his courting, snore-like call from the confines of the prairie after heavy fall and winter rains.
Seeking some of the bountiful wildlife May's Prairie has to offer is the bobcat, who leaves his telltale scat on the boardwalk after a nocturnal visit. Higher up in the surrounding sandhills, gopher tortoises, a threatened species, browse near the half-moon-shaped burrows. These are Chinsegut's oldest animal residents, who have watched the seasons change here for nearly a half-century.
Chinsegut Conservation Center hosts many educational programs and hikes throughout the year. To preserve the beauty of the area, the center is open to the public only during scheduled programs or by appointment.
For more information on Conservation center programs, festivals, facilities and trails contact:
Chinsegut Conservation Center
23212 Lake Lindsey Road
Brooksville, FL 34601
Other recreational information about Chinsegut