Take a guided hike on the 3rd Saturday of each month, September through May, and learn about the flora and fauna of North Central Florida. David Rakes is an experienced and knowledgeable naturalist with a broad understanding of the natural communities surrounding the Silver River. Each hike will start from a different location in the park and will focus on different plants. You may receive the opportunity to view wildlife such as Florida white-tailed deer, Sherman's fox squirrel, Eastern gopher tortoises, and more.
September 16, 2017: Meet at the Sandhill Trailhead.
The beginning of the great wildflower show underneath the Longleaf pine trees.
October 21, 2017: Meet at the Sandhill Trailhead.
See the Sandhill wildflowers at their best, including Blazing Star, Paintbrush, Summer’s Farewell, Yellow Buttons, Golden Asters and Blue Sage.
November 18, 2017: Meet at the Sandhill Trailhead.
The wildflower show is tapering off but the endemic shrub Garberia heterophylla persists with its wonderful rose-purple tubular flowers. You will be amazed at all the insects they attract.
December 16, 2017: Meet at the Swamp Trailhead.
Focus on seeing the terrestrial Shadow Witch Orchid and the peculiar homes of the Purseweb Spider.
January 20, 2018: Meet at the Sandhill Trailhead.
Learn about the five different species of pine trees found in the park as well as the endemic Florida Deep Digger Scarab Beetle that digs down in the sandy soil from five to almost eight feet deep.
February 17, 2018: Meet at the Sandhill Trailhead.
The walk will focus on the earliest flowering shrubs and trees such as the Eastern Red Bud and the Flatwoods Plum.
March 17, 2018: Meet at the Sink Hole Trailhead.
Let’s count trees! No, not every tree, but how many different species are in these woodlands.
April 21, 2018: Meet at the River Trailhead.
On the way to the Silver River you will see the Pinkroot wildflower and the arboreal Manatee Tree Snail. With luck you may see the Prothonotary Warbler, formerly known as the Golden Swamp Warbler.
May 19, 2018: Meet at the Sandhill Trailhead.
Resident songbirds such as the Pine Warbler and Summer Tanager will sing their little heads off while you walk through the piney woods.
Free with regular park admission.
Enter the park through the camping & museum entrance, 1425 NE 58th Avenue, (also known as State Road 35 or Baseline Rd.) to access any of the trailheads.
Sturdy walking shoes, a canteen and insect repellant is suggested. No pets, please. This program may be cancelled due to inclement weather. Call the ranger station for the latest information.