PO Box 941692, Maitland, FL 32794-1692

Hike at Split Oak Preserve

Join Friends of Split Oak Forest, Sierra Club and Orange Audubon Society at Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area on October 28th in the evening to showcase the forest’s lovely view of the moon and perhaps get some well-saturated golden hour photos. We’re gathering at the main entrance on Clapp Simms Duda Road at 6:00 pm.

At 1.72 miles with plenty of stops, the planned hike will be suitable for all ages and most fitness levels.

Please bring water, since it will still be quite warm.

We recommend flashlights or headlamps (you probably won’t be using them since September 6th is full moon but it’s good to be prepared!).

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Orange and Osceola counties realized nearly three decades ago that regulations can fail to guard water, wildlife and wilderness from Florida’s relentless spread of homes and roads.

Taking what was then a novel step, the two counties cobbled together nearly $9 million through complex financing to buy 1,700 acres of saw grass, rare scrub and longleaf pines straddling the counties’ shared line southeast of Orlando International Airport.

In the years since, the sweat, fire and “blood money” of government care have revived the property — which is called “Split Oak” after a majestic, 200-year-old tree there — as a parkland jewel, according to regular visitors.

But now, that 1990s vision — purchasing land as an ultimate defense against growth — could be threatened by a proposed extension of the Osceola Parkway that would bisect Split Oak en route to the biggest development plan ever in Florida on the giant Deseret Ranches.

Leader: Valerie Anderson