Location and Hiking and Biking Trail Maps with Nature Viewing Information and Photos
Entry Fee: None
True to it's name, the Levy Loop is a 6.5 mile loop encircling a restored marsh near Micanopy, Florida. And what an amazing, flat trail hike this is! Along with views of the marsh replete with frog and bird calls, you are bound to spot an abundance of wildlife.
I visited in early June and sighted deer, alligators, white ibises, great egrets, great blue herons, American coots, common grackles, red-winged blackbirds, and a water moccasin. There is no barrier to the marsh and the levy slopes quickly to the marsh, so you have to exercise some sense and caution. In fact, an alligator started growling very near me when I stopped to fiddle with my camera. It is a very threatening sound, and although likely a mating call (I heard another alligator answer from further away) I did not hang around that spot to find out. Moving quickly away, I nearly stepped on a water moccasin which fortunately scooted away into the water.
For these reasons, dogs are not permitted on the trail. You can however bike there, and the width of the trail and the hard earth make it an ideal biking spot. I preferred to hike since there is so much to see in terms of wildlife not to mention an abundance of flowers. The width and maintenance of the trail also kept ticks and other biting insects to a very rare minimum.
A high point for me was seeing my favorite bird, the swallow-tailed kite. Endangered and uncommon to see even one, I spotted six of these majestic birds swooping around together in late morning.