Guided and Self Guided Tours
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“From the Land Nobody Wanted to the Land of Many Uses" On November 24, 1908, when President Teddy Roosevelt declared the Ocala area a National Forest in 1908, many people referred to it as the land nobody wanted.” The land in this area was indeed a harsh, unforgiving place for humans to live. Roosevelt designated 202,000 acres of scrub as the Ocala National Forest, creating the first National Forest east of the Mississippi River, and the second National Forest within the continental United States. Today, people enjoy the “many uses” of this lush area, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hunting, camping, and touring historical areas. The Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway shows new generations the route into the heart of wild Florida.
NOTE: Persons must be able to travel on natural terrain for ½ mile hike and bug spray will be provided.
Join the Friends of the Carr Cabin on a tour to the Archie Carr Cabin in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service to experience the forest of long ago. The structure, built in 1938 on 46 acres of scrub and forest on Lake Nicotoon, was donated to the Ocala National Forest in 2007 along with the land by Archie’s brother, Dr. Tom Carr, a noted radio-astronomer and physicist. We hope by sharing the specifics of the cabin, it’s restoration, and the surrounding landscape, we will help enlarge the natural and cultural richness of Florida. Carr Cabin tour does not have access to restroom facilities.
NOTE: Carr Cabin tour does not have access to restroom facilities. Persons must be able to travel on natural terrain for ½ mile hike and bug spray will be provided.
The Altoona Trail Riders will host a trail ride into the forest. We will meet at Trailhead Ranch, 27435 SE Highway 42 West, Umatilla. Meet at 9:30 AM and prepare to ride out at 10:00 AM. We will take a ride out to the Carr Cabin. Bring bottled water, there is water for horses at the trailhead. Riders 16 and under must wear an approved safety riding helmet. Negative Coggins papers required for all horses. RSVP required - email@example.com. Bring a lunch to eat at the trailhead after the ride and socialize with ATR members.
Lake Norris Conservation Area Considered one of the best paddles in Lake County, staff will guide participants on a tour of the renowned Blackwater Creek, part of the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River system. Paddlers can expect to see wading birds, ibis, osprey, warblers and more. Please call the Lake County Water Authority at 352-324-6141 ext. 0 to register. Space is limited.
Quarterly Bird & Butterfly Survey
Where: 36300 County Road 44A,
Eustis Quarterly census of birds & butterflies to help monitor populations and trends to assist with management. Volunteers should have binoculars and field guides. Experience not required but helpful Contact: Call Gallus Quigley at 352-253-4950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Trip limited to 10 reservations, make Reservation for this Event at https://www.lakecountyfl.gov/calendar/event_details.aspx?EventID=19722
Looking for ways to help protect native wildflowers? Wildflower-friendly mowing practices are a great way to preserve Florida’s wildflowers. Numerous counties throughout the state, including Lake County, have passed resolutions to increase awareness and protection of roadside wildflowers through reduced mowing programs.
Another way to help preserve Florida’s native wildflower population is to eliminate the introduction of invasive plant species, which can inhibit the ability of native plants to flourish. It’s also important to the delicate balance of native ecosystems to preserve pollinators and their habitats by limiting the use of pesticides and herbicides in gardens and landscapes.
For more information about Florida’s native wildflowers, or ways to get involved, visit the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s website at www.FlaWildflowers.org, or visit the Florida Native Plant Society’s website at www.fnps.org
Photo Credit: Sue Carroll
Learn about the History and wildlife of Astor and The St. Johns River
Depart from Blackwater Inn in historic Astor for a leisure boat tour to the many tributaries of the St. Johns River. Where you will experience exotic plant and wildlife steeped in history dating back to ancient Indian and Spanish civilizations.
On your St. Johns River eco tour you will experience wildlife, alligators, bald eagles, manatees, and plant life, air plants, ferns large cypress trees and much more. Learn the history of the River from the Indians to the European and American settlers.
The role the river played in the Seminole Indian Wars and the civil war. Being close to Orlando allows for a day trip back into an area where it is Old Florida at its best. Or stay overnight in a camp cabin or motel (see accommodations under links) and enjoy an extended tour of the river (see tours & rates).
If you are staying in Astor at one of the river resorts use our water taxi to take
you to a riverside restaurant for diner and a sunset cruise.
Only one hour from The Villages and one hour from Orlando.
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