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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Florida Birding and Nature Festival 2016 @ Little Manatee River State Park

Thursday, October 13, 2016 (All day) to Sunday, October 16, 2016 (All day)

Registration details found online:  www.floridabirdingandnaturefestival.org

 

More Information:
Melanie Higgins 813-641-0799, melanie@questecology.com

Located in the Southwest region at:
Little Manatee River State Park
215 Lightfoot Rd.
Wimauma, FL 33598

This festival takes place just down the road from the park, at Hillsborough Community College, South Shore Campus, 551 24th St. NE, Ruskin, FL 33570. 

Discover the wild side of Tampa Bay and beyond!  The Florida Birding and Nature Festival's mission is to promote appreciation and conservation of Florida's wildlife and their habitats through responsible nature-based tourism and public awareness. 

Experience peak migration in some of the most important flyway stopovers in Florida.  Festival registration gives you access to a wide array of field trips exploring coastal and inland destinations Friday-Sunday, Oct 14-16.  Fieldtrip locations include parks that are part of the National Scenic Birding Trail and along important wildlife corridors, like Little Manatee River State Park.  Learn about iconic species like alligators, panthers, and birding and nature photography tips from professionals.  This family friendly festival also includes a variety of children's activities.

Additional Information:

For questions about registration or sponsorship, contact Melanie Higgins at Melanie@questecology.com

Sea Shells of the Talbot Islands @ Little Talbot Island State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 2:00am to 3:00pm EDT

No reservations are necessary and the program is free with $5 vehicle entrance fee.

More Information:
Ranger Station 904-251-2320

Located in the Northeast region at:
Little Talbot Island State Park
12157 Heckscher Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32226

Join a park ranger to learn about the difference between a conch and a whelk, or a cockle and a clam. Discover how to identify many of the frequently found shells and fossils that wash up on the Talbot Islands State Parks shores. The program will take place at North Beach pavilion area on Little Talbot Island State Park.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements.

Blackwater Heritage Century Ride @ Blackwater Heritage State Trail

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 7:00am CDT

A registration fee is required to compete and information can be found here.

There is no fee for spectators along the trail.

More Information:
Big Brothers Big Sisters at 1-866-646-3518 or 850-433-5437. E-mail at pshell@bbbsnwfl.org

Located in the Northwest region at:
Blackwater Heritage State Trail
5533 Alabama Street
Milton, FL 32570

October is Florida Greenways and Trails Month! It is a great time to get outside, enjoy the cooler temperatures, reconnect with nature, and enjoy all that life has to offer. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, along with the West Florida Wheelmen Bicycle Club and the Blackwater Heritage State Trail, present the annual Blackwater Heritage Century Ride also known as the Fenner Ride. Join us for a ride through the beautiful Blackwater State Forest and a portion of the Blackwater Heritage State Trail. 

This event is open to competitors and spectators alike.  Registration information is available at http://www.active.com/milton-fl/cycling/races/fenner-ride-2016?int

All proceeds from the race benefit Big Borthers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, and Blackwater Heritage Trail Citizens Support Organization.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Surf Fishing Class @ Henderson Beach State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 8:00am to 12:00pm CDT

Free with regular park admission.

More Information:
Ranger Station, 850-837-7550

Located in the Northwest region at:
Henderson Beach State Park
17000 Emerald Coast Parkway
Destin, FL 32541

Join Bass Pro staff on the beach at Henderson for a surf fishing class. Bait, tackle, and instruction provided. Come learn proper techniques for successful surf fishing, no previous experience required. Space is limited, sign up is required. Participants must have a current Florida saltwater fishing license. Sun protection and a water bottle are recommended. This event is free with park admission, and is weather permitting.

Additional Information:

To sign up, call Bass Pro Destin at 850-269-6200.

Participation Requirements

Morning Nature Walk @ Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 9:00am to 10:30am EDT

Free with paid park admission.

More Information:
Park Services Specialist Jeff Hugo, 850-561-7286

Located in the Northwest region at:
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
465 Wakulla Park Drive
Wakulla Springs, FL 32327

Wakulla Springs State Park will host a ranger-led early morning trek through its varying forest communities.  Migrating songbirds and autumn colors create the potential for a special walk.  For those early rising guests in the magnificent Wakulla Springs Lodge, those wishing to burn a few calories after or in preparation for breakfast in the dining room, or for those who are simply curious; this walk through the woods in the early morning light may hold a surprise or two.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Meet in the lobby of the Lodge at Wakulla Springs.

Space is limited.  Please call (850) 561-7286 to make your reservation.

Morning Nature Walk @ Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 9:00am to 10:00am EDT

Free with paid park admission.

More Information:
Park Services Specialist Jeff Hugo, 850-561-7286

Located in the Northwest region at:
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
465 Wakulla Park Drive
Wakulla Springs, FL 32327

Wakulla Springs State Park will host a ranger-led early morning trek through its varying forest communities.  Migrating songbirds and autumn colors create the potential for a special walk.  For those early rising guests in the magnificent Wakulla Springs Lodge, those wishing to burn a few calories after or in preparation for breakfast in the dining room, or for those who are simply curious; this walk through the woods in the early morning light may hold a surprise or two.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Meet in the lobby of the Lodge at Wakulla Springs.

Space is limited.  Please call (850) 561-7286 to make your reservation.

Incredible Autumn Wildflowers @ Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 9:00am to 12:00pm EDT

All park entrance fees apply: $6.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people).

 

More Information:
Call the park administrative office at 386-497-4690 for more information.

Located in the Northeast region at:
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
12087 SW U.S. Highway 27
Fort White, FL 32038

Trying to put names to some of the fantastic blooms of north-central Florida in the fall? 

Come join this short hike into Ichetucknee’s fabulous sandhills for a slice of autumn splendor!  The tour will begin at the Head Spring parking lot at the North Entrance of the park, off SW Elim Church Road. 

Additional Information:

This event is open for all ages and levels of experience.  Some portions of the hike will be in off-trail areas, so long pants, sturdy shoes, insect repellent, and a passion for wildflowers are highly recommended.

Participation Requirements

 

 

1876 Cow Camp @ Lake Kissimmee State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 9:00am to 4:30pm EDT

Free with regular park admission

More Information:
Park Service Specialist Andi Henry, 863-696-1112, Andrea.Henry@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Central region at:
Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Rd.
Lake Wales , FL 33898

As you roam down the short trail to the Cow Camp, you will travel back in time to 1876. At the end of the trail, you will find a Florida Cow Hunter in a frontier camp along the route of a cattle drive. He will be cooking, making coffee, tending to the cattle or just resting up until the next roundup or cattle drive. The Cow Hunter will be very happy to share stories about what his life is like and the challenges he faces.

Additional Information:

Offsite Cow Camps are available for groups of 15 or more, schools, community organizations, special events, etc. Call the Ranger Station for more information.

Participation Requirements

 

Fort Taylor Living History Weekend @ Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 10:00am to 2:00pm EDT

Normal park admission applies.

More Information:
Kevin Bowes, kevin.bowes@dep.state.fl.us (305) 292-6850

Located in the Southeast region at:
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
601 Howard England Way
Key West, FL 33040

Come celebrate Florida's rich history on the third Saturday and Sunday of each month at Historic Fort Taylor, America's Southernmost Civil War Fortress.  Join our re-enactors as they set up tents, clean their weapons and fire up the blacksmith shop.  Climb the circular stairways and experience the harbor view just as the soldiers did in 1861.  Walk down our cannon row and touch the actual cannons used to protect this Union stronghold.  Tours will be available and public interaction is strongly recommended. Re-enactor participation varies by weekend and weather conditions. For more information on how to get involved, please contact Park Services Specialist Kevin Bowes at kevin.bowes@dep.state.fl.us.

Nature Photography @ Fort George Island Cultural State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EDT

No reservations are necessary and the program is free.

More Information:
Ranger Station 904-251-2320

Located in the Northeast region at:
Fort George Island Cultural State Park
11241 Fort George Road
Jacksonville, FL 32226

Ever dreamed of getting the perfect shot of a great blue heron in flight or a bumble bee nestled on a flower? Join a photographer and nature enthusiast for a leisurely stroll on the Fairloop trail and learn techniques to help capture the beauty of the salt marsh on film. Please bring your own camera and photography supplies, sturdy shoes, bug spray, sunscreen and water. The program will take place at the Ribault Club on Fort George Island.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements.

Dune to Lagoon-Cross Barrier Island Plant Identification Stroll @ Sebastian Inlet State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EDT

Free

More Information:
Terry O'Toole 772-388-2750 or 321-984-4852

Located in the Central region at:
Sebastian Inlet State Park
9700 South Highway A.1.A.
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951

Join us for a leisurely stroll and learn about our sub-tropical, coastal plants.  Find out which plants are edible, have medical uses and are attractive for landscaping.  Please meet at the hammock trail one mile north of the bridge at the parking lot on west side of A1A.

Tram Tour @ Oscar Scherer State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 10:00am EDT

The cost to ride the tram is $5.00/person, plus normal entrance fees. Children under 5 ride free with paid adult.

More Information:
Ranger Station 941-483-5956

Located in the Southwest region at:
Oscar Scherer State Park
1843 South Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229

Join our knowledgeable and enthusiastic Park Rangers on a tram tour through the park to discover the secrets of Oscar Scherer State Park! Parking is available at the Nature Center and participants are asked to meet at the Nature Center promptly at 10am. Seating on the tram is on a first-come, first-served basis, limited to 25 people. Can accommodate 2 wheelchairs and arrive early for the best seat.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Critter Crafts for Kids @ Oscar Scherer State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 10:00am EDT

There is no cost to participate other than normal park entrance fees for day-use visitors.

More Information:
Ranger Station 941-483-5956

Located in the Southwest region at:
Oscar Scherer State Park
1843 South Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229

This weekly program features different arts and craft opportunities for kids.  A Volunteer will be on-hand in the Nature Center to instruct and provide the materials but parents are asked to remain with their child throughout the program; parents are welcome to participate as well.  Supplies and seating is limited, so participation is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Ranger Program - Museum Area @ Silver Springs State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 5:00pm EDT

Free with regular park admission.

More Information:
Call the ranger station 352-236-7148 ext. 4

Located in the Central region at:
Silver Springs State Park
1425 NE 58th Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470

Every Saturday, a ranger will present a program on a different topic at the Silver River Museum & Environmental Education Center. Examples of programs include "Weavers in the woods," "What's that sound?," "Pioneer survival," as well as programs on topics such as fire, gopher tortoises and more. For the specific topic or program for the coming weekend, please contact the ranger station.

Additional Information:

Enter the park through the Camping & Museum Entrance, 1425 NE 58th Avenue, (also known as State Road 35 or Baseline Rd.) to access the Silver River Museum.

For more information about the Silver River Museum visit their website.

Participation requirements.

Haunted Moonlight Hike @ Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm EDT

$5.00 per person.

More Information:


Located in the Northeast region at:
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
6239 State Road 21
Keystone Heights, FL 32656

     Gold Head Branch State Park will host its seventh annual Haunted Hike on Saturday, October 15th.  Ticket sales begin at 7:00pm and will close around 9:00pm.  Hike along a one mile haunted trail through the woods of Gold Head Branch.  You never know what ghosts and goblins will come out to greet you. The hike will be scary so please use discretion in bringing young children.  To ensure the safety of all participants, strollers and pets are prohibited on the trail.  Food and drink will be available for purchase before and after the hike.  All proceeds will benefit the Gold Head Branch State Park Citizen Support Organization. 

Additional Information:

 Participation Requirements

Park After Dark Program: Art of the Campfire @ Little Manatee River State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 8:00pm EDT

Park admission fees apply.  Program is free with paid park entry.  Registered campers attend for free.

Vehicle entrance (2-8 people) $5.00

Vehicle entrance (1 person) $4.00

Individuals on foot or bicycle $2.00

Please use the honor system at the Ranger Station to pay park entrance fees after regular operating hours. 

More Information:
Ranger Station 813-671-5005

Located in the Southwest region at:
Little Manatee River State Park
215 Lightfoot Rd.
Wimauma, FL 33598

This Park After Dark Program will celebrate the "art of the campfire".  Join us on a quest for the perfect campfire, as we celebrate centuries old rituals that bring people together around the fire.  We will gather around the fire to enjoy campfire cooking, drums and music, and campfire stories and songs.  This program celebrates the human spirit in the park after dark!

This program is one of the "Park After Dark" series, programs that celebrate the night!  Join us every 3rd Saturday of the month, August-December, as we explore a different nocturnal theme.  Join us for one, or for all, as we experience the park after dark! 

 

Additional Information:

Directions to the program will be posted at the Ranger Station on the day of the program.  Use the honor system to pay after hours entrance fees, then follow signs from the Ranger Station.

Participants are encouraged to bring insect repellant, water, and a blanket or chair to sit on.  If you have a drum or other musical instrument, or a campfire song, story, or dance, please bring one to share.

Florida State Parks are in various stages of accessibility.  If you need special accommodations to make your full participation possible, please contact the Ranger Station in advance.  Up to 2 weeks may be required to make specific arrangements.  For detailed participation requirements for this program, please see the EEC Park After Dark:  Art of the Campfire.

Most Park After Dark Programs will take place in light rain or moonshine.  In cases of severe inclement weather, please contact the Ranger Station 8am-5pm the day of the program to confirm cancellations. 

* In honor of Patrick Potts, a Park Ranger who shared the spirit and the art of the campfire.

Jaycees Haunted Swamp Walk - Main Entrance @ Silver Springs State Park

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm EDT

$12.00: Adult TIckets

$8.00: Children's tickets, ten and under

More Information:
Call the concessions at Silver Springs 352-261-5840

Located in the Central region at:
Silver Springs State Park
1425 NE 58th Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470

The JCI Ocala Jaycees present the 44th Annual Haunted House in partnership with Silver Springs State Park, every Friday and Saturday evening in October.

This will be an evening of fun and fear and will feature multiple scare zones as well as food and drink service.

No costumes or masks permitted. This is a scary event and may not be suitable for young children. Please read participation requirements in the additional information section.

Additional Information:

Enter the park through the main entrance located at 5656 East Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40). The gates will be closed promptly at 10:00 p.m. and no new visitors will be allowed entry. Visitors that have already participated will be able to exit through a one-way gate.

For more information on the Ocala Jaycees visit their facebook page.

The Ocala Jaycees is a nonprofit organization for local citizens looking to make an impact on the community. Through development opportunities and their global network of young, active citizens, the mission of the Jaycees is to empower young people to create positive change.

Participation requirements.