|Wekiwa Springs State Park|
Twenty-one miles of foot and horse trails meander through eight plant communities. Canoes may be rented to float the lovely, spring-fed Wekiwa River. Some of the finest longleaf pine sandhills in Florida survive here; Wekiwa is also a stronghold for seldom-seen black bears and many other species.
Canaveral National Seashore
|Description: Atlantic waves break on the east side of this twenty-four mile stretch of undeveloped beach, and the waters of brackish Mosquito Lagoon lap its western edge. In between, a subtropical barrier island nurtures a diverse wildlife community with its hammocks of ancient oaks, salt marshes, mangrove islands, and tall sand dunes vegetated with sea oats, seagrape, and palmetto. Canaveral has two points of access: New Smyrna Beach to the north, and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge to the south.|
Wildlife to Watch: The beaches provide important summer nesting habitat for loggerhead and green sea turtles. Bottle-nosed dolphins cavort year-round in both ocean and lagoon. Manatees use Mosquito Lagoon as a refuge during spring and summer; check with the visitor center for recent sightings. American alligators are especially visible on warm winter days. Canaveral’s inland waters share a tremendous population of wintering waterfowl with adjoining Merritt Island, including mottled duck, pintail, green-and blue-winged teal, American wigeon, northern shoveler, ring-necked duck, ruddy duck, lesser scaup, hooded and red-breasted merganser, and many other less commonly sighted species. Among the mangroves, watch for a variety of wading birds. Brown pelicans and ospreys are commonly observed year-round. On the beach, shorebirds are especially abundant in the cooler weather. Gulls, terns, and black skimmers are well represented. Birding for songbirds, hawks, and falcons can be excellent during spring and fall migrations.
Special Tips: For information call (407) 267-1110.
IN SUMMER, BE PREPARED FOR HEAD, INSECTS, and STORMS.
Other Activities: Pleasant nature trails. Guided walks, turtle watches, and children’s programs offered seasonally.
Ownership: National Park Service
Size: 57,661 acres
Closest Town: Titusville
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: