There is certainly something marvelous about Florida’s nature and wildlife for the adventuring Floridian to discover. Summer trips and plans might have come to a close, but as the long summer days shorten, Floridians can continue to venture out and enjoy the beauty that is the Sunshine State by visiting a few of our many public lands and wildlife corridors.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manages the Great Florida Birding Wildlife Trail (GFBWT) and Wildlife Management Area (WMA) systems that stretch across the entire state. The GFBWT is a self-guided birding trail that interconnects public lands and wildlife corridors over 2,000 miles, some of which include Central Florida counties like Polk, Osceola, Highlands, Hardee, and Hillsborough. The WMAs are a more rugged park system that connects and provide explorers a way to experience nature and wildlife in their natural habitat with minimal human footprint.
The FWC is an excellent source for discovering more information regarding these locations. As with many of the sites, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD, aka the District) has either acquired the lands for preservation and restoration and/or works with the FWC (and other municipalities) in the maintenance of these public lands.
Here are just a sampling of locations and what they have to offer in ways of recreation.
CIRCLE B BAR RESERVE
Bicycling, birding, fishing, hiking, p