The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve is a remarkable place to experience natural Florida. Located just south of Orlando, the preserve protects the headwaters of the Everglades ecosystem. This 12,000-acre preserve is an innovative model of ecological restoration and one of the largest off-site wetlands mitigation projects ever undertaken in the United States.
The preserve is bordered by Lake Russell, one of the last remaining undeveloped lakes in central Florida. It is also home to hundreds of wildlife species, many of which are rare, such as bald eagles, Florida scrub-jays, sandhill cranes and gopher tortoises.
A hiking trail is available to visitors who want to learn about the preserveâ€™s resident plants and animals and the Conservancyâ€™s efforts to restore and protect them.
Visiting the Preserve
The Disney Wilderness Preserve offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Florida and see land restoration in progress.
The preserve is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m daily. Please call the preserve before visiting (407) 935-0002 as the preserve may have limited access due to flooding or restoration activities.
All hikers must register at the self-serve stand prior to setting out. For your safety and comfort, bring drinking water, hats, sun protection, bug repellent, and wear appropriate footwear. Hikers should always be aware of changing weather conditions.
The hiking trail leaves from the Conservation Learning Center. It includes a one-mile trip to Lake Russell, one of the last remaining pristine lakes in central Florida. For those wishing a longer experience, the trail continues beyond Lake Russell, covering a 2.5-mile loop offering a closer look at the preserveâ€™s natural communities and its resident plants and animals.
Pets are not allowed on the preserve.
For more information click the picture above.