Typical view [?]
NOTE: Pick your spot based on heat
NOTE: Saw none but probably there in shady areas
LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Hard to nail this place down to a clear description. You drive around mildly hilly winding roads that are crossed many many times by trails. Much of what you drive through looks like the level of growth after not too many years since a fire - so a lot of diverse growth but not tall and not lots of trees. But plenty of areas where you get mixed pines and oaks that are full and shady. Impressive lakes. Lots of deer that you often see from the road (prancing across it or sitting and chewing).
Lots of birds that like to hide in scrub - towhees and catbirds for example. Saw our first chipping sparrow here.
Lots of deer so I'd expect anything else possible.
Everything - it's a full service park. Horseback riding, fishing, kayaks, rangers, everything. Very nice place.
You could easily stop for a short hike, a short scenic view, or spend 2 days hiking all of it. They have cabins on one of the lesser lakes that look like they'd be fun to stay in.
When we went here the first time it was more than we expected. Nobody was really talking about it and it seemed too close to urban areas to be very wild. It's actually in an interesting spot - very close to Disney (I didn't realize that until looking at a map just now) and the city it is near ("Four Corners") is the corner of Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Polk counties.
When entering I was a bit at a loss of where to start because you drive over so many trails. Where you drive it's a bit hilly and winding but what you drive through though dense with growth is quite low and sparse of trees. Still - there are plenty of areas with mixed pine and oak and areas of cypress. Hard to call it either pine or hardwood alone.
When I got to Dixie Lake I was fairly impressed but when I looked at a map I realized that wasn't lake Louisa. The trail across the street from Dixie lake was nice and the little pond/cypress area up the road from there we had good birding luck with. When I drove over to Lake Louisa it had a nice beach reminiscent of swimming lakes up north or Ft.Cooper in Inverness. Near there, there is a productive short trail - or long if you just keep going - had tons and tons of towhees and catbirds during one of our visits.
On first visit on the way out saw a family of deer that were non-skittish enough around cars to remind me of behavior at popular national parks out west. On the next a family of deer bounded over the road in the most scenic way possible.
We haven't been here enough to give good info on which trail is what but none of it was dull so recommended. Looks like 20+ miles of pretty diverse trails.
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