Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
About Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER
Winter Manager's Message
Winter in Florida with its cooler days offers many reasons to visit Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. There are lots of new things to see. Homosassa Springs is one of a very few places where you can see endangered West Indian manatees, Whooping cranes, Florida Key Deer, and Red wolves.
Look up into the treetops around the alligator lagoon, and you will see birds nesting. Great blue herons are among the first to build nests.
During the winter months, the gate is opened under the Long River Bridge, allowing the wild manatees’ access to the warmer waters of the spring. On colder days, you may see dozens of wild manatees in the spring and spring run. The Fish Bowl floating underwater observatory offers an unequalled, below-the-surface view of manatees and fish in the clear spring environment. The park's resident manatees are enjoying a large section of the spring run, including the in-ground rehabilitation pool.
Three Manatee Programs, two Wildlife Encounters, and an Alligator Program are presented daily giving visitors an opportunity to learn more about Florida's wildlife. A Reptile House provides close-up viewing of native snakes and other reptiles.
The park has welcomed a new addition to our endangered Red wolves exhibit. A female Red wolf will be joining our male Red wolf in the habitat. The park participates in the Red wolf Species Survival project whose goal it is to reintroduce these animals into the wild, thereby increasing the dwindling Red wolf population.
Six orphaned Black bears were successfully released in November. The wildlife care staff at the park works with Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission in raising orphaned bear cubs at the Felburn Wildlife Care Center to be released back to the wild.
Start your visit with a leisurely pontoon boat ride down Pepper Creek to the Wildlife Park. Along the way you may see ospreys nesting, limpkins, herons or egrets wading in the creek, wood ducks swimming along; not to mention turtles sunning on logs, fish and, maybe even an otter. Every day a different experience waits.
And that’s just the beginning. Our elevated boardwalk system provides a great view of the wildlife, including a cougar, bears, bobcats, deer, alligators, and a wide variety of wading birds, birds of prey, and songbirds.
The Wildside Café, the park’s snack bar, offers inside and outdoor dining and locations throughout the park for snacks and refreshments. The State of Elegance and Nest of Treasures gift shops are located at the Visitor Center and West entrances respectively.
The new season brings many special events at the wildlife park. The annual Celebration of Lights runs from December 19 through 24 and again on Dec. 26. This community event features a spectacular, synchronized light show by Sebastian Hawes with nightly entertainment in the Garden of the Springs. On January 26, 2015, we will be celebrating Lu, the hippo’s 55th birthday with a big party. Be sure to look at the complete listing of our Special Events for more information on this and other upcoming events.
A visit to the park is a day you'll long remember, the ideal family outing. Leave your everyday worries behind you as you set out to explore the Real Florida at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and all of our 171 Florida State Parks.
Our dedicated employees and friendly volunteers are waiting to welcome you!
- Kimberlee Tennille, Park Manager
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is located in Homosassa Springs, 75 miles north of Tampa on U.S. 19 and 90 miles northwest of Orlando.
- For forms, information and benefits of volunteering visit Get Involved.
- Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park
- 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
Homosassa, FL 34446
- Florida State Parks Pet Policy
The park provides complimentary kennels at the main entrance of the park on US 19 for those visitors traveling with pets. They are self-service and free. Pets are not permitted inside the wildlife park. Service animals are welcome where the public is normally allowed.