Lake Maggiore Island
Shaded by spreading live oaks, the island looks out on Lake Maggiore. Perched on dead branches, anhingas fan their wings out to dry, turtles sun themselves on tussocks and alligators drift by.
Coastal willows' slender leaves provide food for orange dancing viceroy butterflies. The boardwalk passes over the bowing flower spikes of lizards-tail. Rich muck provides a home for a variety of ferns, hinting of an almost prehistoric flavor. Twelve-foot fronds of leather ferns lift above the boardwalk. Look for lizards on the trees.
Winding along a creek, the path and boardwalk are shaded by bay, sugarberry and red maple trees. Box turtles hide in the leaf litter on the forest floor. The star-bellied spiders weave their perfect web between the branches.
Like the columns of a forest mansion, tall pines shade the path. This is borderland between the scrub and the broad-leafed forest. Southern oaks provide a canopy for blue jays and cardinals and a food source for fox squirrels. Lizards flash through the sunlit patches in their pursuit of an insect meal.
Sand Scrub Trail
More than 12,000 years ago Florida was almost twice its current size. This place was the center of a vast scrubland stretching from horizon to horizon. Today, turkey oak, sand pine, and wiregrass hint of that distant time. Fall wild flowers cover these fields with color. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is the home of the gopher tortoise. This is one of the most endangered habitats in the world.
The Pioneer Settlement is a living history museum experience where visitors can observe and take part in the skills, crafts and social customs of late 19th century life in west central Florida. Visit the Pioneer Settlement.
Environmental Studies Area & Rentals
Boyd Hill Nature Preserve offers a natural, picturesque setting with a variety of options for individuals, groups and businesses looking for a unique location for an event, meeting or retreat. There are many types of rental facilities to accommodate your youth or adult group. More about rentals.