Prescribed fires are planned for the near future. Please the following link to learn more about specific dates and locations. More »
Turner River Closure
Turner River is closed due to low water conditions. It is advised that visitors consider paddling Halfway Creek as an alternative. More »
Beginning January 27, through August 28, Burns Lake Campground will be closed to camping. It will still be accessible for day use and backcountry access, however. More »
Interstate 75 Mile Marker 63 Closure
Beginning summer of 2013, the rest area and backcountry access at Mile Marker 63 will be closed due to construction. More »
Prairies, whether they're "wet" or "dry" based more on what plant species grow there than on the actual amount of water present. Wet prairies occur on mineral soils that are covered with water about 50-150 days per year. The water rarely gets any deeper than about 20 centimeters even in the wettest of seasons.
Wet prairies usually burn at least once during a five year period. Without fire, woody plants would push out the prairie plant species. This would in turn cause prairie mammals and birds to lose their habitat.
Periphyton is a complex mixture of algae, microbes, and detritus that creates a thick mat on the ground of the prairies. It is a common part of the vegetation in wet prairies that are healthy and is an important link in the wet prairie food chain. It can be over four centimeters thick on the prairie floor. Periphyton is eaten by a variety of flies, snails, fish, tadpoles and zooplankton.
During the rainy season, tadpoles and insect larvae hatch in prairies becoming a wade-thru for many wading birds, reptiles and amphibians to eat at.
Watch and learn as a park ranger explains more about Periphyton.
Marsh rabbits are found in this area looking for food. They are herbivores that eat grasses, leaves and bulbs. The marsh rabbit has shorter ears, hind legs, and tail than the eastern cottontail rabbit that can also be found in Florida. Marsh rabbits walk instead of hop and can even swim!
The rabbit swims to move to other places to forage for food and to avoid predators.
Journey in to the cypress swamp to see what secrets it holds.
Did You Know?
Mermaid sightings have been reported by sailors throughout history who often blamed the part-woman, part-fish beings for leading them astray. But folklore experts believe that what those sailors were seeing were not mermaids, but rather air-breathing manatees, or their dugong relatives. More...