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Wild about Weeki Wachee Preserve - Fieldtrip 7/12/14

posted Jul 1, 2014, 3:41 PM by Hernando Chapter Florida Native Plant Society   [ updated Jul 2, 2014, 8:19 AM ]
The proposed beach and tourist facilities at Weeki Wachee Preserve has been in the news, and we've been curious to see the site from the ground. Jude Simpson and Julie Wert did a little scouting in in the  preserve last week. Hence a field trip is now planned for Saturday, July 12 to offer everyone the chance to see what is preserved and what we have to lose should the property's use change. This will be a two-part field trip: we will host a Wildflower & Butterfly Hike 8-10 am, followed by the option to explore the Lakes & Bird Research Area (1+ mile drive from entrance).

Trip leaders: Heather Sharkey & Jude Simpson.

We'll visit our friends the Gopher Tortoise to
see what's growing in their neighborhood.

8-10 AM. We will explore the Gopher Tortoise habitat near the main entrance, a small sandy area bordered by pine flatwoods, with great plant diversity and interesting critters. Then we will drive to a trail that goes through several changes in elevation and associated plant communities, with abundant wildflowers.  This area includes many natural features as well as changes in topography left from former mining activities. Difficulty: Moderate

10-11 AM. Optional visit to Lakes area & bird research site (site of proposed beach & tourist facilities).  We will point out additional hike & bike trails leading to areas that we won't have time to visit on this trip. Difficulty: Easy. Drive in access.

  • Meet at 7:45 am at the Main entrance, 2345 Osowaw Blvd Spring Hill, . 
  • Map & directions at :
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes, hat, sunglasses, comfortable protective clothing. Insect repellant recommended.
  • Bring Plenty of Drinking Water. 
  • No toilet facilities at main entrance or trails. Vault toilet at Lakes parking area.
  • Please rsvp to, with subject line WWP field trip, with your name, email & phone contact.
  • Cell phone contact on day of trip: 352 345-2173.

This is one of the quarry lakes. We will be examining the lakes and surrounding areas in the second part of
the field trip. Make sure to bring a hat, water and sunscreen!

This time of year you may find one of our most stately wildflowers, Germander, Wood Sage (Teucrinum candense).

Look down, and you're likely to see something interesting, such as Neptunia pubescens.

Earth stars (puff ball fungus) & lichen (Cladonia sp)