Right outside of Winter Garden (and a few miles north of Walt Disney World) is the Oakland Nature Preserve, a 128-acre preserve with several short nature trails for you to explore. It's a great place to unwind and reconnect with nature.
So let's get started. The Preserve is easy to find. There is no admission cost; however donations are accepted. Parking is free.
The Boardwalk Trail is the most popular spot at the preserve. It's a 2/3 mile walk to Lake Apopka.
(This trail is wheelchair accessible.) You will find folks of all ages exploring Florida's natural habitat. Make sure to bring your camera.
Interpretive signs through the Preserve help visitors identify plant species and local animals.
Gators, turtles, various birds and local snakes are commonly seen on property.
At the end of the Boardwalk Trail is a large wharf area with benches.
It's the perfect spot to search for wildlife.
Did you know Lake Apopka is the state's fourth-largest lake?
(You can learn more about the wildlife at Lake Apopka by visiting About Lake Apopka.)
Such beautiful views!
We saw many baby gators on a recent visit.
As I mentioned, there are several other trails visitors can explore:
Red Trail - 0.7 mile
Yellow Trail - 0.6 mile
Green Trail - 0.5 mile
Orange Trail - 0.4 mile (10 Station Exercise Loop)
Blue Trail - 0.2 mile
White Trail - 0.1 mile
Purple Trail - 0.2 mile
Boardwalk - 0.7 mile
The Oakland Nature Preserve is a wonderful place to teach children about the ecology of Florida.
The Jim Thomas Environmental Education Center and Museum is currently closed due to Covid-19 but in the past, the preserve has hosted Story Time, Science Saturdays, a 3-mile conservation run, summer camp and more!
The Oakland Nature Preserve is located at 747 Machete Trail, Oakland, FL 34760.
Want to learn more? Check out Oakland Nature Preserve on Facebook.