Walks and Field Trips

Field Trip, Withlacoochee State Forest, May 20, 8:30 am

Join geologist and author John Miller and state forest biologist Colleen Werner on a hike to visit sinkholes, limerock formations and ferns and native plants of the southwestern section of Withlacoochee State Forest.

There are two sink holes, each with a rock face and lots of boulders.  There are some interesting plants that include: Justicia pringlei, Trichomanes petersii, Asplenium abscissum, Peperomia humilis, Adiantum tenerum, and Scutellaria ovata. There are also some lovely swamp chestnut oaks (Quercus michauxii). Prepare for some rough walking and possible mud or wet areas.

Priority is for members of Suncoast Chapter but the trip is open to any FNPS member. Carpooling is encouraged. Parking is on the roadside of CR 491 so cars should be kept to a minimum. A map of the general area is available to registrants and upon request.

Registration is required.  The trip is limited to 10 participants who should be FNPS members. To sign up, contact Tina (Mable C) Patterson at mablepatterson@hotmail.com or call (305) 298-6381 (leave name and message). You should include full name, contact information and membership chapter.

Hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, long sleeves and trousers, close-toed & water resistant boots are advised. Bring drinking water and field snacks. 

Camping Trips, 2021

We have 2 trips planned for the fall. There are still a few spaces in the reserved campsites or you can reserve your own through the Florida State Parks system

Highlands Hammock – October 22-24. Visit primeval live oak forest, walk the boardwalk, and visit an ancient Lake Wales Ridge scrub filled with rare plants. We arrive Friday evening and depart Sunday around 1 pm. The park is varied and the walking is easy. 

Collier-Seminole State Park and Fakahatchee Strand – December 9-13. Plan on camping in a semitopical setting and going on a compass wade into Fakahatchee Strand. We will arrive Thursday evening and depart Sunday morning giving ourselves 2 full days in the woods. Plan on wading in deep water and mud.

Contact Tina Patterson for more information.

Lettuce Lake Native Plant Walks 2021 Schedule

 NO WALKS ARE CURRENTLY SCHEDULED.  We are awaiting County permission to resume.

Lettuce Lake has reopened but the Visitor Center and picnic pavilions are still closed. You can walk the boardwalk (now one-way) and use the trails. They have resumed canoe rentals (ask at the entrance station).

Suncoast sponsors native plant walks at Lettuce Lake Park on the first Saturday every month except July, August and December.These walks are designed for park visitors who want to learn about Florida native plants.  We do a slow stroll pointing out the native plants that the park supports.

Walks begin in the Visitor Center at 9 am. After a short presentation, we leave from the native plant garden and walk the trails and boardwalk.



Tampa Audubon 'Beginning Bird Walks' meet on the second Saturday of each month at Lettuce Lake. Participants meet at 9 am (8 am in summer) in the parking lot by the Visitor Center. Binoculars are available for loan.

The Native Plant and Bird Walks are free and open to the public although there is a $2 park entrance fee.