Residents can explore Volusia County’s conservation lands by foot, bike, kayak or eco-buggy in October.
Staff from the county’s Environmental Management Division will lead these free outdoor adventures:
• Eco-buggy tour of Lake George: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 9. Learn about the plants, animals and land management practices of the Lake George Wildlife Management Area from Land Manager Stuart Jones. Meet at 998 Ninemile Point Road, Seville.
• Guided hike of Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve: 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Oct. 12. Explore a newly opened site in the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve, 6171 Ridgewood Ave., Port Orange. The group will hike a short trail through maritime hammock to the salt marsh of the Spruce Creek/Rose Bay shoreline.
• Guided hike of Deep Creek Preserve: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 13. Explore this large Volusia Forever acquisition on a guided hike through several plant communities. The entrance is at 964 S. State Road 415, west of New Smyrna Beach.
• Star tour of the night sky: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19. Astronomy teacher Dr. Hugh Ward Jr. will conduct a leisurely tour of the night sky beginning with the North Star. He will comment on the visible planets, constellations, bright stars, nebula, star clusters, galaxies, and any unusual objects that may appear. Bring a folding chair, insect spray, flashlight, and your own telescope if you have one. Meet at Wiregrass Preserve, 1751 Lopez Road, Osteen, before sunset. Road conditions are rough.
• Florida Habitats 101: 9 a.m. to noon, Oct. 20. Learn about natural habitats that are teeming with life and make Florida a unique place to live. Dr. Bill Grey, a field botany professor at Rollins College, will lead an eco-buggy and hiking tour through the scrub, pine flatwoods, cypress dome and swamp habitats of Longleaf Pine Preserve. The adventure begins at the preserve’s service entrance on Pioneer Trail, west of New Smyrna Beach. Wear long pants and old shoes that can get wet.
• St. Johns River paddle: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Oct. 24. Paddlers will set out from the shoreline of Hickory Bluff Preserve, 598 Guise Road, Osteen. They’ll take a leisurely paddle on the St. Johns River and observe plants and animals along the way. Bring your own kayak or canoe. Each participant must have a life jacket and whistle.
• Guided hike of Lyonia Preserve: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Oct. 25. Learn about the endangered scrub habitat and what makes it a special place. Hikers will see scrub plants and animals and meet Lyonia’s most precious resident, the Florida scrub jay. The guide will discuss land management practices and prescribed fire. Participants can tour Lyonia Environmental Center afterward. The preserve and environmental center are next to the Deltona Regional Library at 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona.
• Bike about: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 26. Experience nature as you bicycle the first segment of the East Central Regional Rail Trail beginning at the Green Springs Park trail head, 994 Enterprise-Osteen Road, Enterprise. Participants will bicycle the multi-use paved trail 5.7 miles from Green Springs Park to State Road 415 and back. All ages and abilities are welcome. Bike helmets are required.
Space is limited, and reservations are required. Participants are encouraged to bring water and insect spray and wear comfortable clothes and walking or hiking shoes.
For more information or to reserve a space, contact Bonnie Cary at 386-736-5276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.