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Chinsegut WEA Nature Center Prarie To Pines Trail

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT
Andrew Thoreson
Aug 2018
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (17)

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GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? A
Birding B
Wildlife A
Summer Heat C *
Terrain C *
Fun Hike B
Maintained A
Mosquitos C
Biting Files D *
Ticks C
NOTE: C+ but recent burn might make that C-
NOTE: Hills and not even
NOTE: Not always but have been hit badly enough here.
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 11492 Old Crystal River Rd, Brooksville, FL, Hernando, USA, 34601

1) What It's Like

Cool mixed forest, feels old though not dense. A lake, prett good birding and wildlife. Very active nature center. Noteworthy elevation changes. A favorite hike for us.

2) Kinds of Birds

Anything possible but the things that stand out from memory are summer tanagers, towhees, and wrens. Water birds in lake.

3) Wildlife

Definitely deer. You hear things in the brush but haven't seen anything else but maybe a gopher tortoise.

4) Amenities

Education center on north side. Closes at 2pm I think. VERY active with scheduling of activities.

5) Directions

The south side is off US41 coming from Brooksville, The north end and education center - you turn left on Lake Lindsey Road and it'll be on the left after some turning.


6) Dear Ranger

Stellar park - thank you!

7) Time Requirements

Despite the forest seeming big/old there are only 3 miles of trails - though a bit more since not all is a loop. So part of an afternoon is what I'd expect.

Experience

There is another Chinsgut nearby which is also pretty special - read here.

This is a pretty special spot. It's like a big pizza slice shape pointing south. We usually enter from the south end, the north end has the education center and closes at I believe 2pm.

The education has very cool / friendly / energetic staff and they have a TON of activities here. Check the kiosk in front. If they are closed I think they are up at the other Chinsegut location as well. I don't think they post this stuff at the kiosk on the south side of this one.

From the south you start out going down a hill and it's mostly pine - somewhat exposed. It has the feel of an old forest because you just see more diversity of insects and plants. Then it turns to the right into more enclosed forest. That might not be quite so true anymore because they did a big prescribed burn. So might not be great in winter. We often see deer here - there are definitely deer flies. All this is going downhill pretty steeply (for Florida). Eventually you reach the lake on the right where there is a blind. I can't say we see tons of birds/ducks in here but it's definitely worth stopping. It continues on and eventually meets up with the education center.

Lots of tall pines but other oaks etc mixed in.

Birds - less here than the other Chinsgut usually but still quite good for a forest. Summer tanagers and wrens are what come to mind most here.

Other great stuff in the area is McKethan Lake, all of the Withlacoochie Croom Tract, and Perry Oldenburg WEA is across from it but a bit hidden.

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