Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Places to Visit
We have been visiting Florida now for over seventeen years and are still discovering new places of interest every year. Our most recent new discovery is the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park situated in, not surprisingly, Homosassa.
The leisurely journey took us about two hours, north along the US27, west along the US50 and then the US98 to Homosassa. There is a quicker route along the Florida Turnpike but the route which we took was much more scenic.
Parking is free but you will need to visit the Visitor’s Centre to buy your tickets. At $9 for adults and children (aged 13 and over), $5 for children (aged 3 to 12) and free for children up to the age of 2 it certainly will not break the bank for the average family.
You have a choice of how you travel to the park’s entrance. Either by a boat trip along Pepper Creek (weather permitting) or by the frequently running trams.
Make sure you pick up a map and then decide whether you are going to take the clockwise or anti-clockwise route around the park.
Our first stop was to view the manatees during one of the daily educational programs. Seated high up on the tiered benched seats we eagerly waited for the manatees to swim over. Two lady volunteers introduced themselves and then began to throw carrots into the water. It only took a couple of seconds and there were three manatees swimming towards us. They really are awesome creatures. As they are able to swim in very shallow water it enabled us to get a great up close and personal encounter with them. One of the park’s volunteers then waded into the water and began hand feeding one of the manatees with sweet potatoes. As soon as the food was all gone, off they swam (the manatees, not the ladies! ) The park is a refuge for orphaned or injured manatees and also for those that have been born in captivity. Eventually they are released back into the wild
Our next port of call was the alligator and hippopotamus program. Lu (short for Lucifer) is the hippo and was once a movie and television star. We continued our trail around the park encountering deer, otter, bobcats and many species of birds including birds of prey. Be sure to visit the underwater observatory to view the hundreds of fish swimming in the warm waters of the spring.
It really was a very relaxing day, a total change from the theme parks, a taste of the real Florida. If you have the time available during your holiday I would highly recommend a visit.
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