Experiences & Amenities
Visitors will experience a wonderful day of birding at this preserve due to habitat restoration efforts. On land, you can check along the south side of Cockroach Bay Rd. for a series of trails (some trails may be inundated with water in summer). Wandering the preserve’s “uplands” will yield a tremendous diversity of wildlife, though summer months tend to be less productive and more “buggy.”
Gray Kingbird and Great Crested Flycatcher should be easy to find in summer months; Tropical Kingbird, Western Kingbird and Fork-tailed Flycatcher are rare transients. Sharp-shinned Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin and American Kestrel patrol the skies from fall to spring; Cooper’s Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk prey on birds and small mammals year-round. Many different birds are known to pass through here in migration, and the shy Common Yellowthroat is likely to be detected most of the year. In winter you may come across a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Other potential avian treats at this location include Wood Stork, Sandhill Crane, Great Horned Owl, Clapper Rail, Marsh Wren, Sedge Wren.
From fall through spring you can find Peregrine Falcon, Merlin and American Kestrels, and Sharp-shinned Hawk. Cooper's Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk can be found year round. Great Crested Flycatcher and Gray Kingbird are found in the summer months. Many migrating birds pass through here; Yellow-breasted Chat, Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart and Bobolink. You can spot Northern Bobwhite in the pine flatwoods. At this location there are many opportunities to see Sandhill Crane, Great Horned Owl, Marsh Wren, Painted Bunting, Grasshopper Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow. This a great location for birding.
Access the Horseshoe Crab and Snook Canoe Trails by canoe or kayak from the boat ramp at the west end of Cockroach Bay Rd.
Enjoy a leisurely paddle through the labyrinth of seagrass beds, oyster reefs and mangroves. These coastal habitats provide shelter and food for many of the preserve’s fish and aquatic species, which in turn support sea turtles and numerous birds (220-plus species) and mammals.
- Be advised that portions of the Snook Canoe Trail are sometimes dry in winter at low tide.
- Bring sunscreen, water, and insect repellent.
Enjoy fishing in the preserve. Common catches include snook, tarpon, sheepshead, red snapper, speckled sea trout, flounder, mullet and many more.