Edward W. Chance Reserve — Gilley Creek Tract

The Gilley Creek Tract protects the main branch of Gilley Creek, which is one of the main tributaries of the Manatee River. The creek flows into Lake Manatee, which serves as the primary drinking water source for Manatee County.

Formerly a cattle ranch and farm with row crops that had been converted to pasture, hardwood hammocks are still found along the creek channels and wetlands. Undisturbed areas of native habitats thrive in a natural condition, with regular reoccurrence of fire through the prescribed burn program, providing an example of historic Florida palmetto prairie, pine flatwoods and scrubby flatwoods communities.

Restoration efforts focus on reestablishing scrub habitats in fallow agricultural fields that will expand an existing population of the Florida scrub-jay, currently listed as threatened in the state and in the U.S., as well as a host of other species that depend on scrub communities.

The hydrology of the site will also be restored to the extent possible. These efforts will enhance the property's natural communities and improve water quality.

Short sections of trails may go through area leased for cattle grazing. Exercise caution in these areas. Stay on marked trail at all times and remember that cattle serve a management function on the property and should not be disturbed.

Park Details

Street Address

22310 CR 675
Parrish, FL 34219
United States

Size
5800 Acres
Hours of Operation
Daily from sunrise to sunset.

Recreation Opportunities

Recreation Term
Bicycling
Recreation Description
  • Approximately 13 miles of multiuse trails.
  • Bicyclists are required to stay on designated or marked trails.
  • Florida law requires bicyclists under 16 to wear helmets.
Recreation Term
Equestrian
Recreation Description
  • Approximately 13 miles of multiuse trails.
  • Riders are required to stay on designated or marked trails.
  • Each rider must carry proof of horse's current negative Coggins test.
  • Florida law requires equestrians under 16 to wear helmets.
Recreation Term
Fishing
Recreation Description
Recreation Term
Hiking
Recreation Description
  • Approximately 13 miles of multiuse trails.
  • Prepare for wet hiking; some trails are excessively wet during certain times of year.

Additional Information

Access and Parking

Entrance north of Lake Manatee on CR 675. Parking area on east side of road.

Restrooms and Water
  • No restrooms or water available.
Location

Eastern Manatee County, east of Lake Manatee

For more Information

Land Resources, Southwest Florida Water Management District, 1-800-423-1476 (FL only) or (352) 796-7211, ext. 4470