Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
About Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER
Spring has arrived in Florida, and there is so much to see and enjoy at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. The azaleas are in bloom, and the birds are in their breeding plumage. Look up and you will find nests in the treetops, while flamingos, pelicans and Sandhill cranes are building nests and raising their young along the banks and islands. Roseate spoonbills and shorebirds are tending nests in their habitats.
Speaking of shorebirds, ours have a new aviary that is four to five times larger than the previous one. The new aviary, made possible through a donation from the Felburn Foundation, was completed late Spring. It will allow visitors to enter the aviary on a walkway for an up close, unobstructed view of these magnificent birds.
The animals are welcoming the warmer weather with increased activity. Three Red wolves are enjoying their habitat. All these animals are endangered species. 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 up close.
The park is home to four resident manatees as part of an inter-agency partnership for the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned manatees. Other manatees come to the park for rehabilitation before being 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 offers a different experience.
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 park’s River otters are showing off to entertain our visitors. The park's resident manatees make the first-magnitude spring their home, along with fresh and salt water fish that are free to come and go.
The Fish Bowl, a floating underwater observatory, offers an unequalled, below-the-surface view of manatees and fish in the crystal clear spring environment. Three manatee programs, two Wildlife Encounters, and an alligator/hippopotamus program are presented throughout the day, giving visitors an opportunity to learn more about Florida's wildlife.
The recently completed Homosassa River Walk and Manatee Interpretation area includes a new boardwalk that wraps around the spring with a spacious glass-fronted interpretation area with handicapped seating up front.
A Reptile House and the Children's Education Center provide close-up viewing of native snakes and other reptiles.
A picnic pavilion at the Visitor Center offers visitors the opportunity to comfortably enjoy a picnic lunch. The Wildside Café, our snack bar at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, offers indoor and outdoor patio dining area.
An Easter Egg Hunt, Earth Day, monthly bird walks, and summer camp programs are all scheduled in the upcoming months. Be sure to look at the complete listing of our Special Events for more information on this and other upcoming events.
This 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 our Florida State Parks.
Our dedicated employees and friendly volunteers are waiting to welcome you!
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.