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Wolf Branch Creek

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT
Andrew Thoreson
Dec 2018
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (13)

Snapshots! (5)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
How Big Not Rated
Importance Not Rated
Revisit? A
Birding B
Wildlife B *
Summer Heat C *
Terrain C *
Fun Hike B *
Maintained F *
Mosquitos C
Biting Files A
Ticks F *
NOTE: Pigs for sure
NOTE: Very little shade cover.
NOTE: Can be VERY grassy.
NOTE: Not super scenic but has charm
NOTE: Sometimes I'd callit okay B+. The grass can get tall plus the ticks.
NOTE: When wet at least - Gulf Ticks
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 2401 19th Ave NW, Ruskin, FL, Hillsborough, USA, 33570
OFFICIAL INFO:

1) What It's Like

It's a barely managed park - trails aren't marked very well but it's easy to explore. One side is all sand an mangroves, the other is scrubby not quite forest (I think it hasn't had time to revert yet) that's spoiled a bit by seeing people's houses. You have to drive to each part. Also you might have to walk through tall grass and I came out of there with 20 gulf ticks on me once. So plan ahead with the right clothes and permethrin.

2) Kinds of Birds

Kind of anything but phoebes, cardinals, cat birds, warblers - that kind of thing - most common. I'm trying to find where the ducks are still. In the mangroves you'll run into wading birds too.

3) Wildlife

Definitely boar. I think bobcat or coyote as well. I've seen a good amount of predator scat.

4) Amenities

Signs saying you're allowed in to a couple spots and one entrance has a parking area. Very undeveloped so far.

 

5) Directions

See Experience section.

6) Dear Ranger

I suggest a tick warning sign at the entrance. It was a big surprise. Maybe it was a fluke - we were knee deep in flooded water - but it's the worst tick experience I've had (in terms of numbers - none got hold of us) ever.

7) Time Requirements

There are different destinations in here but you can see a lot of birds right away hiking the Vilemaire Rd entrance. Maybe you could spend an afternoon hiking everything.

Experience

We are still trying to fully figure this place out - mainly where in here people keep seeing all the fresh water ducks. It's somewhat similar to the county Cockroach bay park in terms of birds and wildlife.


The entrances we're aware of:
#1) 1403 19th Ave NW:
This one is right at a salt water canal. If you go left you'll go along some mangroves and - I don't know what you call these inland beaches that are surrounded by mangroves - there's that and I'm not clear if I reached the end of that. If you go to the right around the canal it's getting away from the salt water and I haven't explored this well. I see wild boar here.

#2) There might be another approved access point on 19th ave but I haven't stopped at any - there are gates but I didn't look for signs. They might just be private land because a lot of land by the road is still private.

#3) 481 Vilemaire Rd - official map for this part.
This is the main entrance - there's a little parking lot. It's fairly new so if you're looking at 8 year old satellite maps it won't show up. From here there's a main trail in then when you hit a crossroads you can go left to do the blue loop counterclockwise or right to do the red loop. I've done part of the blue loop - this might be where the ducks are and all the red loop.

Our first time here it was flooded and sloshing through calf deep water we ended up COVERED in gulf ticks. Most ticks I've ever seen. This far south you don't really get many ticks - I'm guessing it had to do with the ticks not wanting to drown? There are pigs out here and either bobcat or coyote I think - I'm not great at figuring out species from scat but there was predator scat on the trail. The red trail is slightly unsightly because you can see some houses towards the end.

Aside from not seeing ducks (heard some coots in small ponds you can't really see) - there are tons of other birds. Mostly warblers, cat birds, cardinals, towhee, etc. I would believe finding anything out here. Cockroach Bay is similar (the land park part).

I'd suggest being very careful with ticks here - the grass gets tall and you have to walk through it in several places. When it rains it floods and that might make it worse. So at the least check yourself very well if you don't wear permethrin treated pants and boots.

 

 

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