Kind Reader, the Savannas Recreation Area is a fabulous destination for those who seek outdoor adventures in a mesmerizing environment. Located in St. Lucie County, Florida, this recreational area spans over 6,000 acres of stunning ecosystems that include marshes, wetlands, pine flatwoods, and, of course, savannas. With an abundance of wildlife and plenty of outdoor recreational activities available, the Savannas Recreation Area is a must-visit for anyone seeking a tranquil and rejuvenating experience in nature.
History of Savannas Recreation Area
The Savannas Recreation Area, located in Port St. Lucie, Florida, was developed by St. Lucie County in 1978 as a regional park for hiking, camping, and nature studies. The park is named after the Savannas, a distinct ecosystem of freshwater marshes interlaced with treed islands, extending from the Atlantic coastal ridge to the underlying sandy soils of the flatwoods, which once covered this area. In 1992, the park was handed over to the South Florida Water Management District, which added more facilities and developed new recreational opportunities.
How Did Savannas Recreation Area Come into Existence?
The unusual topography and unique ecosystem of the Savannas region were the major factors that led to the creation of the Savannas Recreation Area. The area was home to cypress trees, sawgrass marshes, and freshwater ponds that provided an ideal habitat for various species of wildlife, such as alligators, otters, deer, and birds. The St Lucie County officials realized the potential of the area as a nature park and created the Savannas Recreation Area in 1978. Later, in 1992, the South Florida Water Management District took over the management and development of the park, adding more recreational facilities and opportunities for visitors.
The Flora and Fauna of Savannas Recreation Area
The Savannas Recreation Area is characterized by a unique ecosystem and supports a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The park is home to more than 60 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles, 8 species of mammals, and numerous invertebrates. The park has several trails and boardwalks for nature hikes and bird watching. Visitors can also enjoy camping, fishing, kayaking, and boating in the park’s freshwater marshes and ponds.
What Animals Can Be Found in the Savannas Recreation Area?
The Savannas Recreation Area is home to a large number of animal species, including the American alligator, river otter, raccoon, white-tailed deer, and several species of turtles and snakes. The park is also a popular birding destination, with over 60 species of birds, including herons, egrets, ibises, and woodpeckers. Visitors are advised to keep a safe distance from the wildlife and refrain from feeding them.
What Kinds of Plants Can Be Found in the Savannas Recreation Area?
The flora of the Savannas Recreation Area includes several species of trees, such as cypress, red maple, live oak, and wax myrtle, along with an extensive network of freshwater marshes and ponds that support a variety of aquatic plants, including water lilies, duckweed, and spikerush. The park’s habitats also provide suitable growing conditions for several species of wildflowers, grasses, and ferns.
What to Do at Savannas Recreation Area?
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or just looking to spend some quality time with your family, there are plenty of exciting things to do at Savannas Recreation Area. Here are some of the activities that you can enjoy during your visit:
Hiking and Biking
Explore the natural beauty of the park on foot or by bike. Savannas Recreation Area has several trails that wind through the park, offering scenic views of the savannas and the adjacent Indian River Lagoon.
Boating and Fishing
The recreation area has two boat ramps that provide access to the Indian River Lagoon, making it an excellent spot for boating and fishing. Visitors can catch a variety of fish in the lagoon, including snook, redfish, and trout.
If you’re looking to spend more than just a day at the park, you can pitch a tent or park an RV at one of the park’s campsites. The recreation area has 10 campsites that are equipped with water and electric hookups, as well as picnic tables and fire rings.
Savannas Recreation Area is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including alligators, birds, and turtles. Visitors can observe these creatures in their natural habitat by walking the park’s trails or paddling along the Indian River Lagoon.
Geocaching is a modern scavenger hunt that uses GPS-enabled devices to locate hidden containers. Savannas Recreation Area has several hidden caches that visitors can find, offering a unique way to explore the park.
The park’s stunning natural beauty makes it an ideal spot for photography. Visitors can capture stunning photos of the savannas, the lagoon, and the wildlife that calls the park home.
If you’re just looking for a relaxing afternoon, pack a picnic basket and head to one of the park’s picnic areas. The recreation area has several shaded picnic areas that are equipped with tables and grills, making it a great spot for a family gathering or a romantic picnic.
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Things to do at Savannas Recreation Area
If you’re planning to visit the Savannas Recreation Area, you can be sure that you will be entertained the entire time you’re there. This park has a lot of fun activities for visitors of all ages. Here are some things to do in Savannas Recreation Area:
One of the top things to do when you visit the park is boating. The Savannas Recreation Area is known for its great opportunities for boating. You can rent boats and kayaks from the park and enjoy the water by yourself, with friends, or family.
If you are looking for a fun outdoor activity to do, then you should go biking. The Savannas Recreation Area has beautiful trails, and it is an excellent place for biking. You can bring your bike or rent one at the park and start exploring the park.
Fishing is a popular activity in the park because the Savannas Recreation Area has some of the best freshwater fishing in the area. You can fish for bass, catfish, sunfish, and other species found in the park’s waterways. You can also get your fishing license at the park’s store.
If you love hiking, you will enjoy the park’s beautiful trails. There are short hiking trails and longer ones that go around the entire park. You’ll find quite a variety of ecosystems on the hiking trails, so there’s plenty of diversity to enjoy.
The park is a perfect place for a night under the stars. Savannas Recreation Area offers primitive campgrounds and RV campsites. You can camp in tents or bring your RV or camper truck. There are campgrounds that offer water and electricity access.
The park has over two hundred species of birds, making it an excellent place for birdwatching. Some of the most popular birds found in the park include pelicans, ospreys, and eagles. You can take a walk around the park and do some excellent bird watching.
If you’re looking for a place to relax with friends or family, the park is perfect for picnicking. You can use the park’s picnic tables and enjoy the beautiful scenery. There’s nothing quite like a picnic in a nature setting. You may even spot some wildlife while you’re there.
Recreational Activities at Savannas Recreation Area
Visitors to the Savannas Recreation Area can engage in a variety of recreational activities, including:
The Savannas Recreation Area is home to a diverse range of fish species, making it a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts. Visitors can cast their lines from shore or by boat in one of the area’s several natural lakes. Among the most commonly caught fish species in the area are largemouth bass, bluegill, and black crappie.
Hiking and Biking
The Savannas Recreation Area offers visitors over eight miles of trails for hiking and cycling. These trails wind their way through some of the area’s most picturesque scenery, offering hikers and cyclists a chance to enjoy nature at its best. Trail maps are available at the recreation area office.
The recreation area offers camping enthusiasts an opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the area while staying in one of their campsites. The area’s campsites have electrical and water hookups, picnic tables, and grills. Reservations are required for all campsites.
Boating is a popular activity at the Savannas Recreation Area, and visitors can launch their boats from one of two boat ramps. The boat ramps provide access to one of the area’s several natural lakes, which are ideal for boating and watersports.
The Savannas Recreation Area is home to a diverse range of wildlife, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. Visitors can observe a wide range of animal species, including white-tailed deer, bobcats, and alligators, in their natural habitat.
The recreation area offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy a day out with family and friends while surrounded by natural beauty. The area has several picnic tables and grills, making it a perfect spot for outdoor gatherings and enjoying a picnic lunch or dinner.
Geocaching is a treasure-hunting game that is played using GPS devices. The Savannas Recreation Area has several hidden caches, making it an ideal destination for geocaching enthusiasts.
Boating and Fishing at Savannas Recreation Area
The Savannas Recreation Area is a popular spot in Florida for boating and fishing enthusiasts. With 550 acres of freshwater ponds, visitors have access to a variety of fish species including bass, catfish, and bluegill. The watercraft rentals are prohibited but visitors can bring their own kayaks, canoes, and boats. There are two boat ramps ready to use that are open from sunrise to sunset, and the fishing dock near the main entrance welcomes the visitors.
The Rules for Boating and Fishing
A proper understanding of the rules is important to make sure visitors enjoy their boating and fishing experience to its fullest. Below are some important safety precautions and rules:
- No loud music, alcohol, or smoking is allowed.
- Need a Florida fishing license to fish in the Savannas Water Management Area.
- Only electric motorboats (up to six horsepower), canoes, kayaks, and non-motorized boats are allowed to use.
- You must wear life jackets when boating.
- Observe all navigational aids and no-wake speeds.
Expert Anglers Tips for Fishing
Experts suggest the following tips to get the best fishing experience:
|1||Best time to fish in Savannas Recreation Area is from early morning and late afternoon.|
|2||Use live bait like worms, shad, or crickets to attract more fish.|
|3||Combine a light rod and reel and a six-pound test to have a better fishing experience in shallow water.|
|4||The Savannas are known for having cooler water than other nearby water bodies, so try fishing in deeper water.|
Wildlife at Savannas Recreation Area
Savannas Recreation Area is home to many species of wildlife, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts. Birdwatching is a must when visiting the park, with over 170 species of birds residing in the area. Some of the birds that can be spotted include the double-crested cormorant, the great egret, the southern bald eagle, and the snowy egret. The park is also home to several species of reptiles and amphibians, such as the peninsula cooter, the Florida softshell turtle, and the green anole.
Birdwatching at Savannas Recreation Area
Birdwatching is a popular activity at Savannas Recreation Area due to the abundance of bird species that can be seen in the park. Visitors can spot birds such as the great egret, the snowy egret, the tricolored heron, the little blue heron, and various species of sandpipers. The park’s location on the Atlantic Flyway, a major migratory path for birds, makes it an excellent spot for birdwatching.
Reptiles and Amphibians at Savannas Recreation Area
Savannas Recreation Area is also home to a variety of reptiles and amphibians. Visitors can observe the Florida softshell turtle basking in the sun on one of the park’s many hammocks. The green anole, a small, colorful lizard, can be seen crawling up the trees. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake, one of the largest venomous snakes in North America, is also found in the park, so visitors should exercise caution when hiking through the area.
The Fishing Experience at Savannas Recreation Area
Savannas Recreation Area is a great place for fishing enthusiasts. The park has several ponds where visitors can fish for largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. A fishing license is required, and visitors can obtain one at the park’s entrance or through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website.
Fishing Regulations at Savannas Recreation Area
It’s important to note that fishing regulations are in place at Savannas Recreation Area to preserve the park’s ecosystem. For example, largemouth bass must be at least 18 inches long to keep, and there is a bag limit of five. Catfish must be over 12 inches to keep, and there is a bag limit of ten. It’s important to familiarize oneself with the park’s regulations before starting to fish.
Bait and Tackle Shop at Savannas Recreation Area
For visitors who may not have their own equipment, there is a Bait and Tackle shop in the park that rents out fishing poles, bait, and tackle. The shop also sells snacks and drinks, making it a convenient spot for visitors to stock up on supplies before heading out to fish.
Recreational Activities at Savannas Recreation Area
Savannas Recreation Area is a wonderful location to indulge in numerous recreational activities. The park provides a wide range of activities and facilities for tourists and locals alike, making it an ideal place for all age groups.
Boating and Fishing
Boating and Fishing are the major attractions of Savannas Recreation Area, with more than 550 acres of lakes providing ample opportunities for fishing enthusiasts. The park offers a perfect spot for fishing with several fish species, including largemouth bass, channel catfish, and black crappie, among others. Visitors can rent boats from the park and take advantage of the calm waters to have an exceptional fishing experience.
Biking and Hiking
The park’s natural beauty makes it an ideal location for hiking and biking enthusiasts. The park has more than 15 miles of trails, providing an opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural beauty of the area. Visitors can explore the park and experience the diverse wildlife communities, including bird watching and wildlife photographic opportunities.
Other popular activities that visitors can indulge in include picnicking, kayaking, and camping. The park offers several facilities, including picnic tables, pavilions, grills, restrooms, playgrounds, and more to make the visit comfortable and enjoyable.
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“Savannas Recreation Area is a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With several activities to choose from, visitors can plan their perfect day out and indulge in the natural beauty of the area.”
Savannas Recreation Area FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about Savannas Recreation Area
1. What is Savannas Recreation Area?
Savannas Recreation Area is a 550-acre park located in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It consists of wetlands, marshes, and open waters that are home to a variety of wildlife species.
2. What kind of activities can I do at Savannas Recreation Area?
You can kayak, fish, hike, bike, and camp at Savannas Recreation Area. There are also picnic areas and playgrounds for visitors to enjoy.
3. Do I need a permit to fish at Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, you need a Florida fishing license to fish at Savannas Recreation Area. You can purchase a license online or at a local tackle shop.
4. Are there any guided tours at Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, there are guided kayak tours available at Savannas Recreation Area. You can make a reservation for a guided tour on their website or by calling the park office.
5. Can I bring my dog to Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, you can bring your dog to Savannas Recreation Area as long as it is on a leash at all times.
6. Are there any fees to enter Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, there is a daily entrance fee of $3 per person for Savannas Recreation Area. There are also fees for camping and certain activities such as kayak rentals.
7. Are there any restrictions on camping at Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, there are certain restrictions on camping at Savannas Recreation Area. Campers must make a reservation in advance, and there are specific rules regarding campfires, generators, and noise levels.
8. Can I rent kayaks at Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, you can rent kayaks at Savannas Recreation Area. Rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and fees apply.
9. What kind of wildlife can I expect to see at Savannas Recreation Area?
Visitors to Savannas Recreation Area may spot alligators, otters, turtles, and a variety of bird species such as herons, egrets, and ospreys.
10. Are there any swimming areas at Savannas Recreation Area?
No, swimming is not allowed at Savannas Recreation Area.
11. Is there a limit on the number of people allowed in a campsite at Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, there is a limit of 8 people per campsite at Savannas Recreation Area.
12. Are there any bike trails at Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, there are several bike trails at Savannas Recreation Area. Bikes are available for rent, or you can bring your own.
13. Can I bring my own boat to Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, you can bring your own boat to Savannas Recreation Area. Launch fees apply.
14. Is there a minimum age requirement for kayaking at Savannas Recreation Area?
No, there is no minimum age requirement for kayaking at Savannas Recreation Area. However, children under the age of 6 must be accompanied by an adult on a tandem kayak.
15. Are there any guided nature walks at Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, there are guided nature walks available at Savannas Recreation Area. You can make a reservation for a guided tour on their website or by calling the park office.
16. Can I go fishing at night at Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, night fishing is allowed at Savannas Recreation Area, but you must obtain a special permit from the park office.
17. What time does Savannas Recreation Area open and close?
Savannas Recreation Area is open from sunrise to sunset every day.
18. Is there a fee to launch my boat at Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, there is a launch fee for boats at Savannas Recreation Area. The fee varies depending on the size of the boat.
19. Can I make a campsite reservation online?
Yes, you can make a campsite reservation online or by calling the park office.
20. Is there a limit on the number of kayaks that can be rented at one time?
Yes, there is a limit of 6 kayaks that can be rented at one time at Savannas Recreation Area.
21. Can I bring my own kayak to Savannas Recreation Area?
Yes, you can bring your own kayak to Savannas Recreation Area. Launch fees apply.
22. Can I camp at Savannas Recreation Area during the summer months?
Yes, you can camp at Savannas Recreation Area year-round, but be aware that summer months can be extremely hot and humid in Florida.
23. Are there any restaurants or stores near Savannas Recreation Area?
No, there are no restaurants or stores located within Savannas Recreation Area. The nearest town, Port St. Lucie, is a short drive away and offers a variety of dining and shopping options.
24. Can I bring my own firewood to Savannas Recreation Area?
No, outside firewood is not allowed at Savannas Recreation Area due to the risk of spreading invasive species and diseases.
25. Are there any airboat tours available at Savannas Recreation Area?
No, airboat tours are not available at Savannas Recreation Area due to environmental concerns.
Learn more about the Savannas Recreation Area and plan your next outdoor adventure.
See You Soon, Kind Reader!
I hope you enjoyed learning about the beauty and tranquility of Savannas Recreation Area as much as I did writing about it. Whether you’re a nature lover, fishing enthusiast, hiker, or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, this hidden gem has it all. Don’t forget to come back and visit Savannas Recreation Area again soon, and always remember to appreciate the natural wonders that surround us in this world. Thank you for reading!