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Taylor Creek STA | Florida Hikes

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Wildlife is considerable alongside the traditional shoreline of Taylor Creek and these man-made marshes.

They had been created to decrease the density of phosphorus reaching Lake Okeechobee from water flowing throughout cattle ranches to achieve the creek.

Reading:: Taylor creek florida

Encompassing 190 acres, this wetlands park is a gem for birding and wildlife watching simply north of Okeechobee.

Taylor Creek STA
Chickee at Taylor Creek

Overview

Location: Okeechobee Size: As much as 3 miles Trailhead: 227.30506,-80.82742 Charges: none Restroom: Vault bathroom at trailhead Land Supervisor: South Florida Water Administration District Cellphone: 561-686-8800 x6640

Open dawn to sundown. Pets are prohibited. Bicycling is permitted.

There isn’t a shade alongside the route besides on the two chickee shelters. The floor is limerock. Be alert for alligators.

Closures might happen when South Florida Water Administration District is engaged on the wetlands ponds, so name forward.

Instructions

Hike

After climbing right here twice, we’ve settled on a counter-clockwise traverse of the interior loop, which is 2.2 miles, as the perfect stroll for wildlife watching. Solely cyclists and runners appear to do the complete 3 mile loop.

Beginning out from the parking space, you parallel a small canal separating you from the loop. Though it seems like you might jump over it, it’s a wildlife haven, and it’s right here that you could be spot one among two resident otter households.

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After you cross a culvert between the small canal and a a lot bigger canal – additionally an otter residence – you’ve reached the junction for the loop. Maintain proper, until you’re simply right here to make use of the picnic tables, that are across the bend to the left.

For the subsequent stretch of path, the broad canal is to your proper, with a cattle ranch past. There are all the time herons and egrets fishing within the canal.

You might even see wooden storks and roseate spoonbills, too, relying on water ranges. Pay attention for the kingfishers that perch on utility wires above.

One of many large alligators in the ponds
One in all many massive alligators within the ponds

To your left is one among a number of huge artifical wetlands ponds that serve to filter the waters of Taylor Creek. That is the place the alligators lurk, and the osprey glide above. Tall grasses and alligator flag wave within the breeze.

You attain the cross path after a half mile. Flip left. This dike throughout the wetlands is a gathering place for birds and alligators, so maintain alert.

You’ll generally see alligators sunning themselves on the banks of the dike, however as a rule they’ll be on the small islands of vegetation.

Cormorants and vultures are inclined to perch on the water management constructions and the fence. Butterflies flit between the numerous wildflowers peeping via the grass.

Marsh grasses in the ponds
Marsh grasses within the ponds

On the far finish of the cross path you attain a T intersection with a chickee simply to the suitable. Cease there when you want some shade, however in any other case flip left to start out the massive loop again round to the trailhead.

A lot of the exercise right here is within the tall alligator flag to your left, the place red-winged blackbirds have a tendency to assemble. Off to the suitable is the ditch that’s modern-day Taylor Creek.

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When you attain the tall cypress on the left, you see a portion of what this panorama appeared like when Taylor Creek ran naturally throughout the land, nourishing these historic timber.

Cypress trees
A stand of cypresses mark Taylor Creek’s former floodplain

A second chickee is true alongside the path right here, shading a picnic bench. Birds have taken over the construction and left loads of splotches in every single place, together with on the tables and chairs.

The water management construction adjoining the chickee is one other nice birding spot, as there may be all the time exercise close to the outflows – each on Taylor Creek and within the wetlands pool.

Previous the chickee, at 1.5 miles, the path turns a nook and begins to parallel US 441, providing glorious views throughout the waterway separating you from the cypresses.

Scan the far shoreline for flocks of ibis, Louisiana herons, and little blue herons. You might even see an osprey or cormorants perched excessive within the timber, and a few large alligators beneath.

The ultimate flip within the loop faces the parking space simply earlier than you flip left to parallel the slender canal once more. Passing the picnic tables, look ahead to wildlife.

We had been delighted to spend a very good fifteen minutes watching three otters fishing within the canal earlier than they determined to make use of the path to stroll to the opposite canal. So that you don’t need to stroll very removed from the trailhead to see wildlife right here!

Discover Extra

Slideshow

Our slides from climbing Taylor Creek STA

Close by Adventures

Extra value exploring when you’re on this space.

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Path Map (PDF) Official Web site

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