Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA)

Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA)

Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA)
4
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Read more
Write a review
About
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
39 reviews
Excellent
14
Very good
15
Average
7
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Arielfl
Coconut Creek, FL1,601 contributions
Jun 2021
I took a hike through here on a recent trip to Vero Beach. The parking is limited but you can also park at the nearby South Vero Square Shopping Center located just east of the conservation area. If you didn't bring bug spray or water pick it up at the Publix because you will need both. Trails are open sunrise to sunset and run 2.4 miles or more and there are no restrooms. Be aware the trail can get quite muddy at points.

The conservation area is quite large, 298 acres!, and the back trail loops around the wetlands so you can see a lot of birds. It is jointly owned by St. Johns River Water Management District and Indian River County. There are boardwalks, an observation tower (currently closed), and a canoe launch. You enter the conservation area through the Herb Kale Trail which is named for one of Florida's most respected ornithologists. The ecosystem is made up of coastal hammock, scrubby flatwoods and estuarine wetlands. The conservation area is a designated stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail.

In the coastal hammock you can find live oaks that are hundreds of years old. Ground plants are wild coffee, myrsine, marlberry, firebush, native wildflowers, saw palmetto, and cabbage palms. There are at least 20 rare plants living in this area including coral-root orchids and whisk fern. Along the hammock loop you may spot songbirds, woodpeckers, hawks, squirrels, snakes, raccoons, armadillo, and opossum.

A bridge takes you over a mangrove swamp where you will encounter the most mosquitoes. Many years ago, the University of Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory used this area as an outdoor lab where they studied how mosquitoes transmit diseases.

The Scrubby Pine Flatwoods trails are at a higher elevation. Expect to find bromeliads, large sand pines, saw palmettos and native wildflowers. This area hotter and dryer with little shade. The ground is sandy soil.

At the rear of the preserve is the Coastal Wetlands managed by mosquito control. Here the trail leads to the closed observation tower as it loops around the wetlands. I was so disappointed to see the observation tower closed since this seemed to be the best place to bird watch. All that is there now is a sketchy looking bridge of single boards that stretch over the lagoon.

At the end of the hike I had gone over 2 miles, was soaked in sweat and mosquito bitten. I always think of that scene in Lilo and Stitch when Cobra saves Earth from the alien race by convincing them that the mosquito is an endangered species. LOL Anyway mosquitoes are always a treat. Despite the bugs t was a fun hike and probably even more fun in January. I don't recommend it in June although I did see a lot of people on the trail. Who would have thought all of this can be found behind a Publix!
Written June 7, 2021
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.

nys
Vero Beach, FL87 contributions
Dec 2013 • Friends
The Oslo Riverfront Conservation area - ORCA is a 440 acre natural preserve of native Florida vegetation that borders the Indian River lagoon estuary. It has several different nature trails that cross mangrove swamps and pine woods. It can be a bit of a rugged walk so dress appropriately. There are no bathroom facilities, so plan ahead. At 9 a.m. on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month there are guided walks to the observation platform that stretches out over the river for a breathtaking view. This is a unique spot and deserves a visit.
Written December 29, 2013
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.

Chere M
Ellijay, GA50 contributions
Jan 2013 • Solo
I visited this with my dogs while my husband was in rehabilitation for a fall. I don't know if it was due to the stress of his 4 month illness or it was the environment - but I went here several times in December 2012 and January 2013. Very few mosquitos. So glad the ORCA was there when I needed it.
Written September 2, 2013
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.

fryauffe
Florida149 contributions
Oct 2011 • Solo
ORCA is one of the only places in Vero that has a great nature trail. It winds through all sorts of different habitats, with plenty of opportunities for viewing Florida's wildlife! There is a really awesome tower that overlooks parts of the Indian River Lagoon and is great for bird-watching. It's a nice long walk, especially enjoyable in the winter when it's cooler and there aren't as many bugs.
Written February 6, 2012
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.

Storyteller-N03
Vero Beach, FL833 contributions
Dec 2013 • Family
If you go all the way you will experience a huge observation tower and see amazing wild life and views. Make sure you look for the crabs scurrying below. Plan on a two hour walk.
Written December 29, 2013
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.

DavidLoPresti
Vero Beach, FL45 contributions
Apr 2013 • Couples
This is an easy walk in the woods. There are several loops that you can use so you can adjust this trail from a short 1/4 walk to several miles.

See forest, piney flats and marsh all in one hike.
Written May 28, 2013
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.

riverotter1320
Sebastian, FL46 contributions
Feb 2012 • Friends
if you have a kayak or arrange one from an outfitter this area is amazing place to explore. The waters are shallow- the grass beds thick and the shore is lined with red mangroves. Birds roost on the third island to the north -Get outdoors and explore....
Written February 13, 2012
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.

remember922
Delmar, NY22 contributions
Jan 2016 • Solo
If you want to experience this tropical conservation area in January bring waterproof boots. We were unable to go to the observation tower as the water on the trail was about 4" deep in places. Still, the parts we saw were lovely.
Written January 12, 2016
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.

Allan S
New York City, NY6,440 contributions
Aug 2015
A lovely view of nature is here. You cannot see the rest of VEro from here and kind of immerse yourselves in nature. Great for an escape for reality and time to relax and take that deep breadth. Very informal and just a good spot to go.
Written August 15, 2015
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.

lbtweety47
Melbourne56 contributions
Nov 2014 • Solo
This hiking trail is flat and goes through canopy, open space and in-between. In the middle of the walk is a good sized lake (ok swamp) that a pier goes from the trail to about 50 yards out over the water. There are benches to sit and just soak in the sun, view and view the birds. Part of the walk has the potential for alligators (portion of walk called a hallway with swamp on both sides of the trail) but I never saw any. On the opposite side of the lake/swamp is another timber built deck over the water but here the water doesn't move much and seemed a little stinky to me. Entire trail is on about 3 miles long. Great exercise and birding. FYI The tiny parking lot only has room for 5 cars and the pavement looks like a landmine went off in places so be careful driving into the area.
Written December 2, 2014
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.

Showing results 1-10 of 38
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA)


Restaurants near Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA): View all restaurants near Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) on Tripadvisor

Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) Information

Excellent Reviews

14

Very Good Reviews

15

Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) Photos

33