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Home > Departments >General Sevices > Parks Division > Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area
 
Kiosk
Canoe Launch
Observation Tower
Hiking Trail
 
         
       
 

Public access facilities and trails are open from sunrise to sunset. Facilities include boardwalks, observation tower, canoe launch, educational information and trailhead, approximately 1 mile of trails and parking.
Take a walk through 298 acres of undeveloped mature coastal hammock, scrubby flatwoods and estuarine wetlands. The Conservation Area is located on Oslo Road (9th Street SE), east of US Highway 1. Parking is located at the south-west corner of the Conservation Area, directly east of South Vero Square Shopping Center.

The maritime hammock community is at a climax, mature stage of growth. Some of the live oaks dominating the canopy of the hammock are hundreds of years old, and are capable of living many years to come. Native groundcover and understory is composed on wild coffee, myrsine, marlberry, firebush, native wildflowers, saw palmetto, cabbage palms and a wide array of other hammock species. A walk along the "Hammock Loop" trail provides the visitor with a view of dense maritime hammock full of wildlife including neo-tropical songbirds, native songbirds, woodpeckers, hawks, squirrels and per chance a raccoon, armadillo, opossum or two! The Scrubby Pine Flatwoods trails is at a higher elevation and contains many bromeliads, large sand pines, saw palmettos and native wildflowers. This area is typically hotter and dryer with white, well-drained, sandy soils. The "Awesome Pine" is located in this area and has been documented as the largest Slash Pine in the world! A venture further into the ORCA, will lead one to the Coastal Wetlands, an impounded estuarine wetland managed by mosquito control. This trail leads to a large wildlife observation tower, an observation platform and a canoe dock that connects to the Indian River Lagoon.

To the south of the main ORCA is the South Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, typically referred to as SORCA. This area contains 66 acres of maritime hammock, xeric uplands and impounded wetlands as well. The trailhead is located on Oslo Road, just east of the main parking lot. The Scrubby Flatwoods natural community is full of slash pine, chapman's oak, myrtle oak, saw palmetto, wax myrtle, gallberry and many bromeliads. The scrub community is ranked by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory as G2 (imperiled globally because of the rarity or vulnerability to extinction). Watch for native songbirds, woodpeckers, squirrels and other wildlife while meandering the trail. Take a wildflower book to help you identify the native groundcover as well!
Plan to wear sturdy walking shoes and bring mosquito repellent. Long sleeved shirt and pants will also make your hike more comfortable.

Weekly Nature Walks are provided for free by volunteer naturalists on the first and third Saturdays of the month from the parking lot to observation tower and return for a two hour duration from 9:00 to 11:00. Call 772-778-7200 to reserve your spot and to find out about other ORCA adventures such as "Canoeing the ORCA Backcountry," "Controlling Mosquitos: What you Can Do," and "Birdwatching Basics."

 

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