Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
About Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER
Four young River otters enjoy their spacious habitat including a large water area and waterfall surrounded by grass banks and slides.
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.
The Park is proud of two recent additions including an expanded Shore Bird Aviary and a new Homosassa River Walk and Manatee Observation Area. The Shore Bird Aviary opened this past year at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and visitors are enjoying this greatly expanded shore bird habitat with its interior walkway and observation area. This exhibit is great for nature study and photography. This project was made possible through a generous $100,000 donation from the Felburn Foundation and by a much-appreciated $1,000 grant from the Friends of Florida State Parks to fund the native-plant landscaping.
The park’s beautiful Homosassa River Walk and Manatee Observation area was recently completed. We are grateful to the Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park for sponsoring this project. This elevated boardwalk starts at the park entrance and surrounds the main spring to the Fish Bowl underwater observatory. The manatee program area is glass-fronted with bleachers and space up front for our visitors in wheelchairs.
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.
During the winter months the gate is opened in 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 Wildside Café, the park’s snack bar, offers inside and outdoor dining and locations throughout the park for snacks and refreshments.
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 24 we will be celebrating Lu, the hippo’s 54th 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
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.