This area is an ideal place to visit and explore some of central Florida’s flora and fauna found in its natural state.
The Florida’s Nature Coast attracts a large number of residents who enjoy actively exploring the great outdoors. This area is filled with an endless number of parks, forests, and wildlife preserves.
If you love getting out and embracing nature, then you will feel right at home living at the Villages of Citrus Hills. You can leave the community heading in any direction and run into a great place to explore nature.
One of our favorites among those places is the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve.
Located 90 minutes southeast of the Villages of Citrus Hills, the Wilderness Preserve offers 110,000 acres of land filled with an amazing array of trails and local wildlife.
For those who are looking to combine a great selection of trails with a magnificent collection of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, it simply doesn’t get any better than this!
Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve is divided into five distinct areas, so let’s take a look at what each one contains:
Colt Creek State Park
When you are ready to get your feet wet in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, Colt Creek State Park is the perfect place to start. The park contains just over 5,000 acres of land and 12 miles of trails that are available for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding.
This is a great location for birding. There have been more than 100 species of birds seen along these trails over the years, and almost as many species of butterflies have been spotted.
In addition to the trails, there are also three lakes for fishing and two primitive youth campsites designed for groups like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Each campsite can accommodate up to 20 people.
Green Swamp East Tract
At just over 51,000 acres, the East Track is the largest portion of the preserve. This area is completely dedicated to trails.
There are 71 miles of unpaved roads for bicycling, as well as 13.9 mile and 7.7 mile loops for hiking. You will also find trails marked with orange symbols that denote the 32.4 miles that are part of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
The 11,000 acres of the Hampton Tract include 28 miles of multi-use trails that can be used for bicycling, hiking, and horseback riding. There are also a number of primitive camping sites located throughout this area. The trails located in the Hampton Tract are known for being very wet and can be difficult to navigate at different times of the year. While this is a reason to avoid these trails for some, others take the muddy trails as a challenge.