Marion County’s first conservation area opened with a whisper in May, 330 acres of upland recharge area just to the southwest of the famed Silver Springs. Located at 5415 N.E. 7th St just west of Baseline Road, the trailhead has interpretive maps to guide you along the triple-loop trail system.
From a Google Earth view, it’s hard to believe this conservation area exists, wedged in as it is between Wal-Mart, Baseline Road, and residential areas. But one side is firmly across from Silver River State Park, and the habitats here hearken to the ones you’ll find over at the Sandhill Trail, primarily sandhills and scrub.
This is Marion County’s first ever conservation area. May it be the beginning of a program that encompasses many more around my very large home county!