Bell Ridge Longleaf Wildlife and Environmental Area

Bell Ridge Longleaf Wildlife and Environmental Area

bellridge forestLocated 23 miles northwest of Gainesville, the 720-acre Bell Ridge Longleaf Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA) features mature rolling sandhills with an overstory of longleaf pine and turkey oak, and a wiregrass dominated groundcover. These well-managed upland habitats support a healthy gopher tortoise population and help protect the Floridan aquifer, a source of drinking water in the region.

Prior to its purchase by the state, Bell Ridge Longleaf WEA was known as Davidson Ranch. It was managed as a preserve by The Nature Conservancy and as a conservation property by the previous landowner. Today, visitors can hike the network of unpaved roads and enjoy wildlife viewing and spectacular displays of fall wildflowers that follow spring burns.

 



FWC Facts:
The world's whooping crane population has gradually increased from a low of 22 birds in 1941 to 503 birds in 2009.

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