hiking trails

A Best Florida Hike – The Trails At Chinsegut Conservation Center

Located just north of Brooksville, Chinsegut Conservation Center area covers 408 acres of the 850 acres Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area.

John and I spent a beautiful day hiking the miles of trails within the conservation center’s 408 acres. (Note to avid hikers: We could have hiked even more as there is a connecting trail from the conservation center to the trails of Chinsegut Wildlife Environmental area.)

Many species of wildlife call this area home, gopher tortoises, white-tailed deer, bobcats, sandhill cranes, and turkeys, to name a few. But on our hike, we saw countless Downy or Hairy Wood Peckers and the larger Pileated Wood Pecker, among other species of birds.

John and I are more hikers than we are bird photographers; in fact, we are novices when it comes to photography, and maybe a bit lazy as well. Had we carried the larger and heavier lens and the bulky tripod with us, we could have set up and taken pictures of the Pileated Wood Peckers all day. There were that many of them! Those guys are fast, and they hear hikers coming, so it was hard to get a good shot with the lens we did have. So for all you more talented birders out there, be prepared. With the right equipment, on this trail, you will likely get some spectacular pictures.

And wow!! The butterflies were everywhere too. At one point on our hike, they were constantly flying around us, almost as they were curious about us. It was the funniest thing ever. An oh, so beautiful.

The scenery of the hike was incredible. The trails are easy walking and wide, taking hikers through longleaf pines, sandhill & hardwood hammocks, and cypress swamp. A short boardwalk that takes you to the edge of a freshwater marsh is an excellent spot to look for wood ducks, herons, sandhill cranes, great egrets, or even a gator.

A cool fall morning with temperatures barely at 70 degrees at the beginning of our hike and getting up into the low 80’s by the end; we couldn’t have asked for better weather to take a peaceful long walk in the woods.

There is also an educational and discovery center on-site that was closed on our visit due to covid, however, when it opens back up it would be a great place to start your hike in order to learn about the wildlife and ecosystem of the area that you will be seeing.

The educational center is also a great way to get children involved and interested in Florida wildlife and conservation. The trails are wide and easy walking, which makes them perfect trails to introduce hiking and the great outdoors to young and not so young alike.

John and I find hiking to be a great stress relief, and what a great way to discover Florida. Fresh air, birds, butterflies, wildlife, exercise, and now that the feel of fall is in the air, with the temperatures getting milder, it is perfect for getting up and getting outdoors.

The Chinsegut Conservation Center is located at 2312 Lake Lindsey Road in Brooksville.

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