March 19, 2008 - Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Many times we have been told to visit Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa Springs, Florida.  This looked like a good day to see the place.  We decided it was a good idea to have lunch before entering the park and found a nice Chinese place, New China, in Homosassa Springs.  It reminded us of Bamboo Wok in Naples and was cheaper and just as good.  Our lunches came to $10.71 plus tip.

From the visitors center in town you have three choices for travel to the actual park, a boat, a tram or drive over to the closer parking lot and hope to find a parking space.  We would have had to wait an hour for the boat ride and they seemed to be be discouraging driving so we took the tram.  Here is the view of the boat coming into the park, just visible in this photo, from the tram.  Turned out the closer parking lot had lots of space, so maybe we could have driven around.  But the trams ran often and made the circuit quickly.

The park is a small zoo of native Florida wildlife with one exception, Lu the Hippo:

Various views of Lu during our visit:

For some reason the black vultures like hanging around Lu.

Photo galleries for the other animals.   These are not all of the animals since some were behind chain link fences which do not photograph well and others were hard to see.  Many of the animals cannot be released to the wild due to injuries or being too comfortable around people.

Manatees, which the park is famous for.

Mammals other than manatees and hippos (panther, fox, bear, otters)

Alligators, reptiles and amphibians

Raptors - Eagles, hawks, Caracara, Falcons and Owls

Other Birds

Birds in groups


There were some azaleas in bloom and we caught this butterfly on one.

We were very glad to finally see this park, it was worthwhile.  We took different routes going and coming, going we took SR200 and coming back we followed SR44 to I-75. Going was about 64 miles and over 1-1/2 hours, coming back was 69 miles and about 1-1/4 hours.

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