The Weekiwachee Preserve is part of a regional system of conservation lands that extend up to Crystal River Buffer Preserve, preserving the southernmost coastal hardwood hammock in western Florida. The preserve provides a rich mosaic of habitats including several miles of Weeki Wachee River frontage, portions of the Mud River, dense hardwood swamps, freshwater and saltwater marshes, and pine-covered sandhills. The preserve is best known for its Florida black bear population. The bears are shy, elusive and pose no threat to people, spending most of their time deep in the forest.
Public ownership protects the wetlands’ natural functions of conveying spring water to the gulf, cleansing surface water and providing flood protection, as well as buffering nearby residential communities from tropical storms.
- Approximately 5.5 miles of bicycling on paved and unpaved trails.
- Bicyclists are required to stay on designated or marked trails.
- Florida law requires bicyclists under 16 to wear helmets.
- Site located on west section of Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.
- Contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for more information.
Boating and Paddling
- Lakes open to hand-launched boats, canoes and kayaks.
- Electric trolling motors allowed.
- Gas-powered outboards not allowed.
- Use caution launching boats — banks can be unstable. Do not back vehicles or trailers onto
- Boats must be carried to the lake — there is no boat ramp.
- Numerous lakes inhabited by both freshwater and saltwater species. Caution: banks can be unstable.
- Contact FWC for license requirements.
- Approximately 5.5-miles of paved and unpaved trails.
- 4.3 miles of marked, scenic woods roads.
- Contact FWC for information regarding license requirements and permits.
- FWC rules and regulations must be observed throughout the year.
- Limited picnic facilities in park.
Access and Parking
- Access from Osowaw Boulevard.
Limited Access Areas
No swimming allowed in any of the lakes. Boats are not allowed on the lakes in this area, but bank fishing is permitted. Visitors are asked to take special care in this sensitive area as it has become a significant bird roosting site. Hundreds of wading birds roost here every night and some nesting
activity has been observed.
Restrooms and Water
Nearby Recreation Lands
- Aripeka Sandhills
- Bayport Park
- Hernando Beach Park
- Jenkins Creek Park
- Linda Pedersen Park
- Roger’s Park
- Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
For More Information
Land Resources, Southwest Florida Water Management District, 1-800-423-1476 (FL only) or
(352) 796-7211, ext. 4470