The Chinsegut Conservation Center offers a wide variety of educational programs and hikes throughout the year. The Conservation Center Tract is only open to the public on Friday and Saturday from 8 am - 2 pm, during regularly scheduled programs or by appointment. However, more than two miles of hiking trail loops on the Big Pine Tract are open daily. Hunting is prohibited on both the Conservation Center and Big Pine tracts. Visitors will find a profusion of wildflowers and butterflies on Big Pine Tract in the fall. April is an excellent time to view resident and migrating songbirds.

Each year Chinsegut hosts four major events:

Fun Run
Geoff Brown

The Chinsegut Run and Fun Walk (February)

Cooler weather is the perfect time for this five-kilometer cross-country race over the woodland trails of Chinsegut Conservation Center Tract. Watch for deer and turkey along the race route and celebrate the early spring display of dogwood, Carolina jessamine and other wildflowers in the sandhills. Or you can choose the slower-paced, one-mile fun walk and learn how to identify characteristic plants of the area. Don't forget to look up and enjoy the range of woodpeckers, warblers and other resident songbirds.  All participants enjoy homemade refreshments and fresh Florida fruit after the race. The top competitors in both events come away with unique nature-oriented awards.

Common Yellow
David Moynahan

Birding and Wildlife Festival (April)

Get a front seat view as scientists use finely woven mist nets to capture wild birds. Watch as they band and release them to further our understanding of these local and long distance travelers. Other activities include building a bird house, taking a butterfly walk or going on an evening bat and owl prowl. This Friday evening/Saturday program is designed for all ages. A children's booth, open for several hours, provides nonstop natural history education and entertainment. The day ends on a high note with a bird-calling contest.

Coral Snake
Kevin Enge

Reptile and Amphibian Festival (October)

Live displays of many of Florida's reptiles and amphibians are the centerpiece of this autumn festival. Learn the identification and natural history of venomous and nonvenomous snakes and choose from several walks or talks that focus on reptiles and amphibians. Activities for children include games, crafts and puppet shows centered on the theme of native reptiles and amphibians. Tune up your vocal chords and compete in the popular frog-calling contests.

Pioneer Day
David Moynahan

Pioneer Day (November)

Take a step back into another century and learn what life was like when the Bishop family lived on the conservation center property. Discover pioneer medicine, watch how turpentine was extracted from pine trees and set out on a horse-drawn wagon ride. Visit exhibits from more than 40 demonstrators. Fill your day with a variety of hands-on opportunities such as petting farm animals and making soap, rope and old-fashioned toys. Test your skills at cutting logs with two-man saws, learning to quilt or making palmetto scrub brushes and brooms.

Additional information is available on Chinsegut's Activity Schedule.

FWC Facts:
According to The Economist, ecotourism is the fastest growing segment of world tourism.

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