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Ekker Preserve

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT

Feb 2019
 Typical view [?]
Photo Galleries
Typical View (15)

Snapshots! (7)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? A
Birding C *
Wildlife B *
Summer Heat B *
Terrain B *
Fun Hike B
Maintained B *
Mosquitos C
Biting Files A *
Ticks C
NOTE: C+ B-
NOTE: Foxes
NOTE: Mostly pretty shady
NOTE: Maybe grassy in a couple spots
NOTE: Watch for poison ivy
NOTE: Saw none yet but discovered in winter.
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: N End of , Ekker Rd, Gibsonton, FL, Hillsborough, USA, 33534

1) What It's Like

Basic county nature park. Very pleasant little forest to hike and a duck and waterbird lake that's new but pretty productive for birds.

2) Kinds of Birds

Along the power line easement / cattle area on west side - hawks. In the forest - more forest birds than many forests but still you don't generally see many birds IN a forest under the canopy. The lake / big pond in front has lots of water birds and ducks. Spoonbills, herons/egrets, mergansers.


3) Wildlife

We've seen snakes, droppings for some kind of mammals, a local said there's a fox that runs back and forth up the road at dawn and dusk, cows get close to the fence and are usually present at the power line easement.

4) Amenities

Just a small parking lot.

5) Directions

Parking lot is at at the end of Ekker road. Pretty easy to find.

6) Dear Ranger

Great job!

7) Time Requirements

40-70 minutes would be my guess but you can also cut it short.

Experience

It's a county park so no frills really and it's not an old forest but it's a pleasant hike that's not dull and without variation in plants/animals. If you do the whole thing counterclockwise there is a bit of poison ivy along the last quarter. A bit along the easement then more when it gets darker in the trees and the soil is a bit wetter. The place used to be a tropical fish hatchery (I think) - if you look at old satellite photos you can see parallel canals. Now it's just a big irregular pond with hills overlooking it that they must have made with bulldozers - and it's a great layout though I don't think it's quite "done"... you can reach the pond without seeing any keep out signs but they don't advertise it either. When you park go inside the fence back up along the road you came in on and there's a couple places you can see the pond. The forest isn't old but it feels diverse enough to be interesting. In contrast some great state parks can in one way be gorgeous but you never see so much as a bug... it's all just one little set of plants. The river is along the north edge (bullfrog creek I think) but there's no good place to see it - you can peek through tall shrubs etc.

I don't know if I'd drive 3 counties to get here but it's worth driving one IMHO.


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