A variety of plant communities occur on the property, including floodplain swamp and oak scrub along the Withlacoochee River and longleaf pine turkey oak sandhills occurring in upland areas. Recovering stands of oak scrub scattered amid the sandhill support the threatened Florida scrub-jay.
In addition to natural resources, the property supported a rich historical past. The preserve is named after Seminole leader Hálpata Tastanaki (Chief Alligator) who, along with Osceola, Jumper and approximately 1,000 warriors, took part in the largest battle of the Second Seminole Indian War in 1836. Included within the property is the site of the community of Stockton, established shortly after the conclusion of the Second Seminole Indian War.
Public ownership of the property provides for the long-term protection and enhancement of floodplain forests along the Withlacoochee River, isolated wetland systems and extensive upland areas with high rates of aquifer recharge.
- 17 miles of marked multiuse trails.
- Use only marked trails.
- Florida law requires bicyclists under 16 to wear helmets.
- Two of three recreational trail loops designated for preserve are intended to serve as a multiuse system for equestrians, bicyclists and hikers.
- Riders are required to stay on marked trails.
- Each rider must carry proof of horse’s current negative Coggins test.
- Florida law requires equestrians under 16 to wear helmets.
- Bank fishing on Withlacoochee River.
- Contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for license requirements.
- Trail system provides a series of three loop trails that allow hikers to tailor their hike to their personal preference.
- Located at Pruitt Trailhead.
Access and Parking
- Public access off CR 484 at northern property boundary and along SR 200 on eastern property boundary.
- Pruitt trailhead accessible from CR 484 entrance.
- ADA access and facilities available.