St. Sebastian River State Buffer Preserve

Description:
Horseback riding, biking and walking on miles of trails are popular ways to explore this preserve in Brevard and Indian River counties. The St. Sebastian River forms the site's eastern boundary; Canal C-54 bisects it. Open pine flatwoods, seasonal wetlands, hardwood swamp, sandhill and scrubby flatwoods are the dominant habitats here.

Watchable Wildlife:
In the winter, manatees congregate at the spillway of canal C-54. View them from the viewing platform at the spillway or from the canal levee. The seasonal wetlands host sandhill cranes, wood storks and roseate spoonbills. Bald eagles nest on the property and kestrels and loggerhead strikes are regularly spotted. The sandhill area supports Florida scrub-jays, while Bachman's sparrows, bluebirds and endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers may be seen in the pine flatwoods. Watch for white-tailed deer, turkeys and bobcats along the roads or forest edges near dawn and dusk. Check the hammock areas for migratory songbirds.

Ownership:
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Contact:
(321) 953-5004

Directions:
From I-95, take Exit 70B (Malabar Road or SR 514) north of Vero Beach and go east to Babcock St. (CR 507). Travel 11.5 miles south to Buffer Preserve Drive, on the left, just north of the C-54 canal. Turn east and follow signs to Visitor Center and hiking trailhead. Entrance to the southern end of the site is off of Fellsmere Road (CR 512), 1.8 miles east of the I-95 interchange.

Related Sites:
Other East Central Florida Wildlife Sites
Florida State Parks



FWC Facts:
The Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival has an annual economic impact of $557,500 to $562,500 for Brevard County.

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