Experiences & Amenities
The .75-mile Pepper Creek Trail offers opportunities for birding and nature study. The trail is paved for wheelchair accessibility. The Citrus County Audubon Society offers monthly bird walks on Pepper Creek Trail.
Included in your admission, weather permitting, is a boat tour that transports visitors along Pepper Creek from the visitor center to the west entrance to the wildlife park. Rangers give an introduction to the park and the Florida Park Service. Native wildlife is identified along the way. The pontoon boats are accessible with a ramp for wheelchairs. There is an elevator from the visitor center level to the boat dock for wheelchairs and strollers.
Explore the park in a new and challenging way. Experienced Geocachers have requested permission to hide caches containing trinkets, treasures or information in various places around the park. Please check the Geocaching website for the most up-to-date information and clues to locate these caches.
A 1.10-mile trail winds throughout the wildlife park including paved trails and elevated boardwalk systems. Benches and rain shelters are conveniently located along the trail. Bleachers are available at the Manatee Program area and at the Wildlife Encounters pavilion. The park offers many opportunities to photograph the Real Florida and its wildlife. Commercial photographers should check in at the park office.
Covered picnic pavilions are located in the Garden of the Springs and behind the parking area at the main entrance on U.S. 19. Other picnic tables are located near the main spring and Fish Bowl and alongside the Alligator Lagoon.
Manatee programs are offered daily at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. 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 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Wildlife Encounters pavilion. Wildlife encounters introduce visitors to native Florida wildlife.
- An alligator/hippopotamus program takes place daily at 12:30 p.m. from the bridge between the alligator lagoon and the hippopotamus pool.
The park showcases Florida's unique landscape surrounding the headspring of the Homosassa River. This could be the perfect backdrop for your dream wedding. Outdoor options for your ceremony and reception include a gazebo, river pavilion and garden pavilion, or choose an indoor space at the Pepper Creek Terrace. We host everything from formal garden weddings to a barefoot wedding. We look forward to helping you plan for your special day. For more information, email Kristie Powell from Springs Provision Company or call 352-419-4689.
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park includes the Wildlife Walk and paved trails for wildlife viewing. The Wildlife Walk consists of elevated boardwalks that are accessible for visitors in wheelchairs or strollers. The boardwalk allows an elevated view into the natural habitats and provides rain shelters along the way. Unable to survive in the wild for various reasons, the park’s captive wildlife are ambassadors for their species, promoting conservation through education.
The Fish Bowl underwater observatory floats in the main spring and allows an underwater view of the spring and the fish and manatees. A television screen with a viewing control is located on the sundeck allowing visitors in wheelchairs to appreciate a view out the underwater windows.
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is an excellent site for birding. The Pepper Creek Birding Trail runs from the Visitor Center parking area along the tram road and loops through the parking areas at Fish Bowl Drive and returns via a boat ride along Pepper Creek. This trail is one of 20 birding trails in Citrus County that are part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. An information kiosk is located at the trailhead behind the parking area of the visitor center on U.S. 19.
The Citrus County Audubon Society offers monthly bird walks on Pepper Creek Trail from October through April (with the exception of December).
- Accessible parking
- Elevator from visitor center to boat dock levels
- Ramps inside visitor center
- Wildlife Walk and all trails
- Picnic pavilions
- Wheelchair-accessible boat tours and trams
- Manual wheelchairs and adult strollers
- Videos with open caption
- Large-print publications
Concession and Restaurant
The Wildside Café is located at the park's west entrance, offering indoor and outdoor dining areas. The hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To reach the Wildside Café, call 352-503-6843.
The park's visitor center and main entrance is located on U.S. 19 and includes a ticket counter, boat docks, accessible restrooms and a concessionaire-operated State of Elegance Gift Shop. Panels inside the visitor center illustrate the history of the park and Homosassa area. A ramp provides accessibility to the raised platform and its displays. An elevator allows access from the visitor center level to the boat dock for visitors in wheelchairs or with strollers.
- Another ticket counter, accessible restrooms and concessionaire-operated gift shop (the Nest of Treasures) and concessionaire-operated snack bar (the Wildside Café) are located at the west entrance on Fishbowl Drive.
Pets are not allowed at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park because of the captive wildlife. The park provides kennels at the main entrance of the park on U.S. 19 for those visitors traveling with their pets. The kennels are self-service and free. Service animals are welcome where the public is normally allowed.