• How To Be A Friend To Nature

    “Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

    coastal paddling trail aerial

    The United Nations’ approach to Sustainable Tourism for Development revolves around “Travel. Enjoy. Respect.”  and promotes responsible travel.

    Birding Peck Sink brooksville

    When visiting natural spaces, we can all leave them unharmed or better with some simple measures.

    Recycling, using your own water bottle, picking up litter and being respectful of wildlife are just a few examples.

    It may take a little adjustment, but these habits practiced many times over can have a powerful effect on natural areas. Being a friend to nature is for all who love to travel, value a destination and treasure authentic experiences.

    volunteer tree planting Spring Hill

    Here are some tips to be a ‘Friend to Nature’ here on Florida’s Adventure Coast. After all, this is Nature’s Place to Play!

    Respect Wildlife

    Bring your binoculars and camera to observe wildlife at a distance. Avoid touching or feeding resident wildlife, no matter how cute!

    Baby Manatee Weeki Wachee River

    Florida’s Adventure Coast is alive with creatures great and small. In our parks and preserves, you’re likely to spot deer, gopher tortoises and a broad array of birds.

    Small blue heron Bayport

    On our waterways, you’ll likely see plenty of shore birds and waterfowl, as well as turtles, manatees and dolphin.

    Many manatees enjoy our coastal areas and springs, particularly in winter. So always take care to slow down when boating; often the well-camouflaged manatees are just below the waters’ surface.

    Manatee pair Bayport

    Wherever you discover wildlife, it’s always important to observe without disturbing any natural activity.

    Bring your camera to share your sightings! You’re going to have a long list of wild creatures to see and photograph here in Nature’s Place to Play.

    Leave No Trace

    “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.” – John Muir
    Birdwatcher Binocs Chinsegut Center


    Escape the crowds and celebrate the outdoors each and every day. With over 107,000 acres of parks and preserves, you have abundant wild lands to explore on Florida’s Adventure Coast.
    Birdwatcher Group Chinsegut Center

    Be a friend to, and help protect, these habitats while exploring by:

    • Staying on marked trails
    • Packing well to avoid littering; also referred to as ‘pack it in; pack it out’
    • Collecting any trash you may find along the way

    These actions will help ensure that our forests remain pristine and that your next visit will be as amazing as your first.

    Weeki Wachee Mermaid Kristi

    Save the Mermaids

    …by saving the waters they swim in! With multiple spring-fed rivers leading to the Gulf of Mexico, such as the beautiful Weeki Wachee River, adventures on the water are endless: go kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, boating and fishing. You can even explore the thriving habitat of an artificial reefby scuba diving.

    Kayaker Jenkins Creek Hernando Beach

    The newly marked Bayport – Linda Pedersen Paddling Trail is a must for paddling enthusiasts, and monthly Weeki Wachee River cleanups are a great way to enjoy that waterway while keeping it litter-free.

    For water activities, here are a few simple ways to be a friend to nature:

    • Keep all belongings with you; leave nothing behind
    • Avoid feeding or approaching wildlife
    • Bring a trash-bag in case you spot litter
    • When boating on the Gulf of Mexico, take care to protect sea grass
    • Consider being an angler that practices CPR (Catch, Photograph and Release)
    • Join a Weeki Wachee River Clean up: always on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, these guided kayaking trips meet at 8:00am (or before) at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Contact Boating in Florida to reserve ahead.

    For more paddling inspiration, check out A Scenic Saltmarsh Adventure.

    Weeki Wachee River Clean Up Boating in FL

    Give Back with Voluntourism

    Would you like to do something more to make a positive impact during your visit? Florida’s Adventure Coast has several organizations doing great things for nature and wildlife; get involved and meet new friends while supporting the wild places you love.

    Check out the following preserves and natural areas for hiking and inquire about opportunities to volunteer:

    Volunteer Workers Fickett Hammock

    And check out Nature with a Side of Nice for inspiration on nature activities and authentic attractions on Florida’s Adventure Coast.

     Bayport Manatee with Baby

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