Final Section Great Florida Birding Trail Opened

The final section of the Great Florida Birding Trail (GFBT) was officially opened on 14 January 2006. The dedication ceremony was held at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, part of the South Florida Birding Trail.

The GFBT consists of 4 sections: the East Florida section ; the West Florida section; the Panhandle section; and the recently-opened South Florida section. The statewide 2000-mile trail was completed with the opening of the South Florida section. According to the GFBT’s official website, the trail is “designed to conserve and enhance Florida’s bird habitat by promoting birdwatching activities, environmental education and economic opportunity”.

The Trail consists of 446 sites in total.

The East section, which opened in November 2000, has 136 sites over 21 counties, including Seminole State Forest, the Disney Wilderness Preserve, and Ravine Gardens State Park.

The West section, opened in November 2002, has 117 sites over 18 counties, including Twin Rivers State Forest, Honeymoon Island State Park, and Sand Key Park.

The Panhandle section, opened in May 2004, has 78 sites over 14 counties, including Blackwater River State Park, Turkey Creek Park, and Point Washington State Forest.

The recently-opened South Florida section has 116 sites over 12 counties, and includes the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Now is a great time to go birdwatching in Florida, because the resident bird populations are joined by migrating birds who winter in Florida. Receding water levels help to concentrate bird populations around food sources. For birders, the cooler weather also makes for more pleasant days out.

So far at least 350,000 free trail guides have been distributed to requestors from all 50 states and nine different countries.

New Fla. trail is a bird-watcher’s bliss
Great Florida Birding Trail

Related links:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Florida Department of Transportation
Wildlife Foundation of Florida
Florida Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Audubon of Florida
Visit Florida

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