Near the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River, northwest of Orlando in
Lake and Marion counties, visitors may hike along levees and other
marked trails to view wildlife in the hammocks, pastures and
extensive sawgrass and wet prairie marshes.
Waterfowl are abundant here. Look for northern shovelers, hooded
mergansers, blue-winged teal and Florida, wood, ring-necked
and fulvous whistling ducks. Sandhill cranes are common. Bald
eagles soar overhead year-round but are most abundant in winter and
spring. The wetlands also attract white pelicans, purple
gallinules, limpkins, glossy and white ibises, wood storks,
alligators and otters. Dawn and dusk are the best times to catch a
glimpse of a bobcat or deer.
St. Johns River Water Management District
From Leesburg, take U.S. 441 south for two miles to C.R. 44. Take
C.R. 44 to Emeralda Ave. and turn left (north). Turn left onto
Emeralda Island Road NW. Entrances to the marsh properties are
located on both sides of the road.
Other Central Florida