Tours

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Tours

Little Talbot Island - Tours

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Park rangers and volunteers provide a wide variety of programs and activities that are sure to entice the adventurous side of you. Join us for programs that will immerse you into the park. Visit our Events section for a list of upcoming activities and events. We welcome school and scouting groups and offer educational programming for your next class outing. Contact the park today for more information on upcoming programs, events, and projects or group tours at 904-251-2320.

Homosassa Springs - Tours

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Manatee programs are offered daily at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and at 3:30 pm From April 1 through November 15 the programs are presented alongside the main spring in the bleachers overlooking the Fish Bowl underwater observatory. From November 15 through March 31 the programs are presented alongside the in-ground manatee pool at the Manatee Care Center.

Wildlife Encounter programs are offered daily at 10:30 am and at 2:30 pm at the Wildlife Encounters pavilion. Wildlife encounters introduce visitors to native Florida wildlife.

An Alligator/Hippopotamus program takes place daily at 12:30 pm from the bridge between the alligator lagoon and the hippopotamus pool.

Topsail Hill - Tours

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Topsail Hill offers ranger programs weekly for all visitors to enjoy. Please see our Ranger Program section here on this website or ask for a program schedule upon entering the park.  You can also sign up to receive the quarterly program schedule via email by emailing the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park at friendsofthsp@gmail.com.

Lignumvitae Key - Tours

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Guided walks are available December through April. Tours last 1.5 hours, are given at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday. The tour fee is $2.00 per adult and the entrance fee which is $2.50 per person. Access to the Key for these tours is limited to privately owned boats or charter boats available at nearby marinas. For reservations call (305) 664-9814. Tour boat departs 30 minutes before listed tour times.

Please note: In order to protect the fragile natural resources of the island, trail access is restricted to guided tours.

 

Participation Requirements

Ranger-led Trail Tour

In order to participate in this program, one:

  • Must have ability to board and disembark from boat transportation independently or with the assistance of a companion and/or with the use of adaptive equipment.
  • Must have ability to traverse trail terrain independently or with the assistance of a companion for approximately 1/3-mile or 1,896 feet.
  • Must have the ability to tolerate warm to hot humid temperatures.
  • Must have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual instructions independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for a period of approximately 1½ hours.

Windley Key - Tours

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Guided tours of the park are available December through April. Tours run Friday through Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Tour fee is $2.00 per person, children under 6 admitted free. Self-guided tours may be taken for the cost of park admission - $2.50 per person.

Hugh Taylor Birch - Tours

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Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Interpretive Tours & Presentations for Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
3109 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 – (954) 564-4521

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is proud to offer the following Interpretive Ranger-guided walks and programs each Friday and Saturday of the month. Please see the walks and programs explanations and their regularly-scheduled rotations. Park entry fees apply $2 per pedestrian; $4 single person in a vehicle; $6 two or more persons in a vehicle. Guided walks are Free. Donations are appreciated and will be given directly to the Friends of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, a 501c3 Citizen’s Support Organization:
 
Every Friday & Saturday
Live Animal Presentation | 1:00pm

A Live Animal Presentation will be held in front of the Terramar Visitors Center – Park Rangers will offer a Live Animal Presentation with our park’s very own resident critters, including the highly Threatened Eastern Indigo Snake, a variation of Florida Rat Snakes as well as variations between Florida-native Corn Snakes. Occasionally the presentation will include native turtle species as well. Rangers will explain the intrinsic value of these wonderful creatures, describe their preferred habits, behaviors, habitats, and allow for direct interaction with guests.
 

First Friday of each month:
Mangrove Habitat Walk | 10:30am

This 1.5 mile walk will commence at the Ranger Station (front entrance) of the park and guide guests past the famous Gopher Tortoise habitat, through Pavilion 1 & 2 area and into the park’s extensive mangrove habitat. Guests will receive a historical overview of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and an introduction to Mangrove habitats as well as the primary species of plants and animals that populate the area. The walk will conclude along the Intracoastal waterway and wrap back around toward the park’s main entrance. The walk will take approximately 1.5 hours. Please wear comfortable walking shoes for the outdoors. Please bring water and any other protective gear dependent upon the season.
 

Second Friday of each month:
Mid-Trail Walk | 10:30am

This 2 mile walk will commence at the Ranger Station (front entrance) of the park and guide guests past the famous Gopher Tortoise habitat. The trail walk will commence approximately half a mile up the main loop drive along what used to be called the “Exotic Trail.” Here, Mr. Birch had planted an assortment of exotic plants including Mango, Citrus, Almond and more. The Mid Trail now features an assortment of Native and non-Native plants. Guests will receive a broad historical overview of the park and hear about the importance of balanced ecosystems in South Florida. A large bee hive is featured along this trail for everyone’s education. Please be advised, the walk will eventually emerge at the north end of the park where guests can take a leisurely walk back to the south end.
 
Third Friday of each month:
Coastal Dune/Residual Slough and Historical Homes Lake Walk | 10:30am

This 1 mile walk will commence at the Ranger Station (front entrance) of the park and guide guests past the famous Gopher Tortoise habitat. The walk will take guests past one of the park’s unique fresh-water ecosystems, the Coastal Dune Lake, and give guests explanations about the formation and evolution of Barrier Island systems. The walk will also incorporate a broad historical overview of the Terramar Estate (Mr. Birch’s home, exterior only) and the Caretaker’s Home, which were commissioned by Mr. Birch in 1940. The walk will continue outside of the Beach Gate entrance and touch on the Endangered Beach habitat that outlines the park’s eastern boundary, and on protected plant and animal species such as sea oats and sea turtles.
 

Fourth Friday of each month:
Beach Hammock Trail & Sensitive Habitats Walk | 10:30am

This 1 mile walk will commence at the Ranger Station and take guests into one of the last residual Tropical Hardwood Hammock (Maritime Forest) habitats in Broward County. Rangers will explain the unique features that constitute our sub-tropical wooded areas as well as our small, residual Coastal Dune Lake systems. Guests will be given an introduction to the primary plant and animal species that populate these areas. A general overview of the original inhabitants to this part of Florida will be offered as well as historical relations between the first settlers. In addition, guests will be shown the highly endangered Beach Jacquemontia sensitive habitat area and be given an explanation of preservation efforts that are underway.
 

Fifth Friday of each month (for those months with a fifth Friday):
Beach/Dune Habitat and Coastal Walk  | 10:30am

This near-1 mile walk will commence at the Beach Entrance to the park. Guests will proceed around the beach entrance sensitive habitat areas, which demonstrates the residual dune plants still residing on the property opposite A1A. Guests will then pass through the underpass tunnel or across the cross walk (once finalized) to the beach. Here guests will learn about the unique features, flora and fauna, that constitute the primary dune on the beach. The tour will leisurely browse the coastline, discussing tidal influences on barrier islands, coastlines and explore the vast variety of species populating the areas between the land and the sea. 

 
Mid Trail Audio Tour – Available at all times.
This 2 mile walk can be taken through your own cell phone without a Ranger guiding you! The trail walk will commence approximately half a mile up the main loop drive. The Mid Trail Audio Tour covers a broad overview of the history of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, offers an introduction to its ecosystems and also points out particulars along the path. A large bee hive is featured along this trail for everyone’s education. Please be advised. The walk will eventually emerge at the north end of the park where guests can either take the Intracoastal waterway back toward the front of the park, or take the main loop drive’s east side road back to the front of the park. The Audio Tour is free, but donations are welcome. Please inquire at the Ranger Station about this easy-to-use program.

Wildlife Program

Fees: 
Only park entrance fees apply.

Weeki Wachee - Tours

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Take a ride down the pristine waterway of the Weeki Wachee River on our river boat tour. Our experienced boat captains give our guests an educational experience about the river and the different types of natural wildlife that might be seen during the trip. The first boat departs at 10 AM, and runs continuous throughout the day. The last boat ride departs at 4:30 PM.

Highlands Hammock - Tours

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The park tram tour is a guided, narrated tour which generally runs one hour and 15 minutes and offers visitors the unique opportunity of viewing alligators, turtles, wading birds, deer and other wildlife relatively close up.  The tram departs from the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, runs through old growth hammock along the Loop Road before turning off into restricted areas past the Cypress Swamp Trail.  It continues through cypress swamp, pine flatwoods, and along South Canal where alligators may be observed basking in the sun on cold days.  The tram is ADA-accessible.   During the busy winter season, tram tours are scheduled to run Tuesday through Friday departing at 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm.  Trams are scheduled for 11:00 am and 1:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.  A third tram will run at 3:00 pm on the weekend, if visitor demand is sufficient.   The tram does not run on Mondays.  The schedule will vary with the changing seasons, and visitors are advised to call the Hammock Inn Concession to verify tram operation.  The Hammock Inn hours of operation are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily during peak season.  However, the days and hours of operation will also vary with the changing seasons and may be limited to weekend business only during the slow summer months.   Tickets may be purchased one day in advance of the tour as well as on the day of the tour.  Tickets are sold only at the Hammock Inn Concession.   Tram tickets for adults and youth aged 13 years and older are $10 per person.  Tickets for children aged 6 to 12 years old are $5 per person.  Children aged 5 years and younger are free.  Inquire about the availability of private tours by calling the Hammock Inn. Private, pre-arranged tram tours for groups and organizations are $100 and may be booked according to availability, staffing and seasonal demand.  The tram can accomodate approximately 30 people.  As the tour is popular and tickets tend to sell out quickly, visitors are advised to purchase tickets a day in advance or early on the morning of the tour.  Visitors are further advised that tram operation and costs are subject to change and the prices do not include tax.  Please call the Hammock Inn at 863-402-0061 for information. 

Hillsborough River - Tours

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Fort Foster Tours

Fort Foster is the only standing replica of a Second Seminole War Fort in the United States. Guided tours of Fort Foster are offered; weather permitting, Thursdays at 10:30 AM.  Your “step back in time” will begin at the park's Ranger Station wher you can purchase your ticket. At Fort Foster is where you will see the only authentically reconstructed fort from the era of the Second Seminole Indian War (pre-1840’s).  Allow approximately one-and-a-half hours for the tour.

As always, tours are offered, weather permitting.

Please note:  NO PETS. Call (813) 987-6771 for more details.

Participation Requirements

Fort Foster - Tours

Activity Type: 

Description: 

Fort Foster is the only standing replica of a Second Seminole War Fort in the United States. Guided tours of Fort Foster are offered; weather permitting, Thursdays at 10:30AM. Your “step back in time” will begin at the park's ranger station where you can purchase your ticket and recieve directions.  Allow approximately one-and-a-half hours for the tour. 

 

Participation Requirements

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