Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
Rehabilation center for injured animals, with a broad selection of birds and reptiles, including the manatee.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • Tamara
    3 contributions
    Wonderful Experience!
    Great side adventure for our trip to Crystal River. Be sure and take the boat ride from the Visitor's center, it's worth the extra $3. We went at 2:30 pm and it was the perfect time. The animals were more active and it was feeding time for several of the animals.
    Visited February 2023
    Written February 27, 2023
  • Pineapple4eva
    Spring Hill, Florida32 contributions
    Manatees , Manatees and May different species of animals , reptiles and creatures of the wild! Great times!!
    The park was easy to find and very ready to enter . My 3 year old granddaughter has been there at least 10 times now and it’s adventure every time. The park is home to alligators, black bears, red wolves, Key deer, flamingos, and whooping cranes each serving as their species’ ambassador. All of the animal inhabitants are in the state park for the same reason: they are unable to survive in the wild on their own. The gift shop is reasonably priced for a park of this size and the snack bar area at the beginning / end of the visit is a great addition as well. There is a satellite snack bar in the middle of the park . Last but not least - THE MANATEES are always amazing to see. Depending on what time of year you go, there are so many manatees.
    Visited January 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written February 28, 2023
  • Sarah Merly
    Purcellville, Virginia136 contributions
    Best Florida state park!
    Definitely my favorite state park!! Our boat captain, Gregory, was super engaging and informative on the way in, and it was so lovely to see the crystal clear water and the excellent well-being of the animals. I can’t wait to come again!
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written March 1, 2023
  • EQB
    Kissimmee, Florida25 contributions
    Manatee heaven and an organic Florida experience.
    After two weeks on the east coast of Florida, visiting family, I ventured West for a more organic experience. I found a nice room in an Airbnb in Homosassa and am glad I did. The many springs and associated parks with hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and manatee experiences did not disappoint. I fear tourism and residential development may not be too far behind so visit soon and see “old” Florida.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written March 16, 2023
  • N9eav
    Cornwall, United Kingdom687 contributions
    Economical half day treat
    A very enjoyable afternoon visiting the park. Very content with the prices too considering how much they want to charge for other attractions. Very well put together and safe. Walkways and fences all well maintained. I read some of the negative reviews on here and I do not agree. The manatees can come and go as the park is connected to the river system. We went on a colder day and saw dozens of them swimming about in the park. I guess on hotter days they are free to go where they please. Some say the birds are in small pits. They are in pits and most can’t fly due to injuries. The pits are open, they can disappear if they could I guess. A lot of birds are free, but seem to stay around, probably the free food. It’s not a zoo, and is not advertised as such as searching for zoos on Google this does not appear. If you want a zoo go to Tampa and pay $48. I thought it was a nice half day out. Free parking too…. Nice boat ride down the river where we saw gators and turtles. I agree the wild cat looked bored though. Hippo was keeping warm under the sun lamp. I guess you find whatever is seasonal. Only thing to avoid is the pretzels.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written March 20, 2023
  • Vacation24403780948
    3 contributions
    Gorgeous views of wildlife in a natural setting.
    Gorgeous view of wildlife in a natural setting. Numerous types of animals and easy walking trail. Many picture opportunities and you can stay as long as you like in the park. The fish bowl was great to view manatees and fish.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written April 3, 2023
  • empressellen
    Las Vegas, Nevada233 contributions
    Beautiful setting
    Took the boat to the site, pretty ride through the creek. Once there, the walking is easy and you get to see some great wildlife. There is a manatee presentation and seeing these animals in the water is amazing! Also loved the "fish bowl" which allows you to see them underwater. This facility does amazing rehabilitation work with injured wildlife.
    Visited May 2023
    Written June 19, 2023
  • Miranda
    46 contributions
    Great little park!
    Happened upon this little park with some great animals! The history behind this park is so interesting! The staff in the discovery room were very knowledgeable and friendly! We saw Lou the hippo, manatees, deer, tons of birds, and many more animals. The weather was hot and a bit humid so the animals were feeling it too, but we got to see them all! The park is beautiful and well kept! Nice little find!
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 23, 2023
  • TheClevision
    Florida10 contributions
    Good half-day or Florida history and exotic animals
    Not much to do in the way of activities. We took the river cruise to the animal viewing area, then rode the tram back. We explored most the park in less than 2-hours. No swimming allowed in park. Worth a stop to check it off the list.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 25, 2023
  • REY
    36 contributions
    Great family visit
    Our family of young adults and one teen spent about 3 hours there. We very much found the walking to be easy, paths well marked, and a the range of animals very interesting. We especially found two of the staff/volunteers very helpful and knowledgeable with all of our questions, George and Sue. George shared it was his first day providing information and he did wonderful. Sue conducted the manatee presentation and fed the manatees while answering tons of questions. If you have a group who may want to ask lots of questions, the staff there were very informative. Great place for all ages.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 13, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
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Yaboi67
6 contributions
Feb 2020 • Family
Went to this zoo after hearing about it while staying in the area. We were told we could get 10% off with the people we were staying with but before we even had a chance to explain ourselves the receptionist was foul and rude. The first thing you see when you get into the park is a depressed 60 year old hippo. The enclosure is tiny and unsuitable for a hippo. Further into the park there are wild cats who have nothing on their enclosures to entertain them. They have gone mad pacing back and forward. All the enclosures are full of vultures making it harder to see the animals that are advertised here. We watch the feed a manatee talk and were left feeling extremely upset they squashed 3 full sized manatees into the tiniest pool I’ve ever seen just go chuck lettuces on top of them. Would not recommend going to this zoo at all.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

London50
Chichester, UK97 contributions
May 2022
Always on our to do list, 2 hour nice drive from Davenport, last visited 2008. The boat tour from car park to main visitor centre is worth the extra $s, winding through the creek saw turtles & other wildlife, boat driver g8v8ng history of park.
Once inside there is a circular walk & we saw the manatees, gators, birds etc.
It was Sat 28th so unfortunately the boats moored at marina on edge was having an event, blasting out music, people swimming. Thus less manatees & wildlife on that side. In previous visits we have seen wild manatees there.
grandchildren 8 & 11 voted the best visit during our vacation,
Written June 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lee R
Dansville, NY24 contributions
Jan 2020
Easy to get to - then take the boat ride to the actual wildlife park and it is very informative, peaceful and pretty. When you get to the wildlife park there is excellent signage to guide you so you see everything - the manatees!, the birds! (so beautiful!) Lou the hippo who is an official Florida resident as determined by the state legislature, the panthers, the bears, the snakes, the underwater viewing area where you see all kinds of fish, and if you are lucky, manatees. We saw a baby and her parent! Very special. There are also presentations periodically throughout the day on various topics - very well done. All creatures are native to Florida with the exception of Lou the hippo and if you take the boat ride you will hear all about how that came to be. Really for a small park it is very diverse and well done. For those who need it, wheelchairs are available. There is a little cafe there too as well as a gift shop. This is a park for all ages. When you have seen it all you can take either the boat or a tram back to your car. The price is very reasonable and you can get a coupon online but you need to print it out.
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa C
Hoover, AL38 contributions
Dec 2022 • Family
I would highly recommend adding this wonderful park to your itinerary regardless of the ages of your party. This was our first stop in our visit to the area and it was the perfect way to be introduced to the wildlife of the area. I would recommend paying the extra for the boat ride (relaxing and informative) but found all the trails and features very accessible. I would also recommend going early in the day. As we we were leaving around lunch time, it was very crowded and we were thankful we had started the day early. They animal ambassadors all seemed very well cared for and the personnel we meet were all very knowledgeable and environmentally conscious.
Written December 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robbin T
12 contributions
Feb 2020
We are so humbled to be able to spend time with some of the amazing creatures that are so very endangered. We went to several educational programs, and not only learned about those animals, but ourselves and how we must conduct ourselves to be better stewards of the planet. To see the species in a well taken care of refuge is terrific. This is not a "petting zoo". Here the animals, fishes, birds, even native plants are treated with respect, and the ones that cannot be released are truly ambassadors for their breeds. This park promotes all aspects of human and animal connectivity. All of the caregivers are impressive and inspiring. This is an all day event to really absorb the environment that is teeming with beautiful life!! Very family friendly, great for ALL ages!! Wonderful $$$ value!!
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

qn08
San Antonio, TX3 contributions
Oct 2022 • Family
We had no plans whatsoever to stop; here but just walked in to do something as we had no plans. They asked us if we wanted a boat or a tram, we chose boat, which is $3 extra per person. They shuttled us onto a boat and it quickly filled up. After a short but informative ride that reminded me of the Disney Jungle Cruise. We looked at the map and at first thought this would be a walk around a path looking for animals but no, it was basically a zoo but not so urbanized. This “zoo” had alligators, manatees, owls, birds, deer, a Florida panther, and every otters. They also had a Hippo named Louie who was 63 years old, he was the reason this park formed. Anyways, it is a fun stop to stop at if you want to burn some time and see some animals. Costing less that a traditional zoo it is still a good stop to stop at.
Written October 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathy B
Coldwater, MI64 contributions
Jan 2020
We were supposed to swim with the Manatees but it was 39 degrees in the morning so we decided to go to this park instead. The admission was only $13 and everyone in our party thought it was worth it. There was a hippopotamus, lots of alligators, manatees, many birds and other exhibits. There is a center for children to do some hands on activities and an underwater viewing area. There is a boat ride you can take. We saw many manatees in the river.
Written January 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brook F
Lynnville, IN31 contributions
Mar 2020 • Family
Our first time at the park was about 25 years ago. This trip did not disappoint. People complain about the cost at $13 a person but The park does important work by rehabilitating injured animals, I’m happy to pay that price. The grounds are beautiful and we visiting the first week of March, we were about to see about 15 wild manatees in the Homossassa River.
Written March 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deb
3 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
It was a lovely January day in FL. I always love visiting Lu, the hippo. He doesn't disappoint. The birds' areas were a bit funky smelling, but the birds were awesome to see, especially the eagles, owls and exotic birds. It's helpful to know that this is wildlife refuge for injured animals, NOT a zoo, before you go to set your expectations appropriately. They provide a great service for these animals!
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

leiam415
Rochester Hills, MI349 contributions
Feb 2020 • Family
Black bear, Florida panther, red wolf, golden eagle, manatees, and many gators. Also nice to walk through the aviary. The tram and boat will transport you the west entrance if you follow the apple map to the main park entrance. Also, the park price was prorated for us around 3:45 since the animal shows were over. The Fishbowl experience was interesting as well.
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)