ABOVE: A gator cruises the water at sunset at Trout Lake Nature Center (photo supplied by TLNC)
Heading into the great outdoors has never been more popular. Surrounded by its many trails and peaceful lakefront boardwalk, Trout Lake Nature Center (TLNC) has been adding activities for nature lovers eager to be outside. The 230-acre property in Eustis also features a swinging bridge, museum, a picnic area, educational displays and the expansive canopy of a majestic grandfather oak. Here are some of the activities the popular nature center is hosting to lure nature lovers to explore the outdoors: SUNSETS AT THE LAKE TLNC has extended hours on Thursdays to encourage visitors to come out to enjoy the stunning sunsets at the lake. Guests are asked to depart by dusk. NATURE WALKS Visitors can opt to hike the walking trails on their own or join the Wednesday Morning Nature Walks on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 9 a.m. BIRDING On the first Saturday of every month there is a Birding and Nature Walk starting at 8 a.m. NATURALIST PRESENTATIONS his month’s Friday Night Naturalist presentation on February 19 is "Gardening For Your Health" by Elizabeth Salazar. The outdoor presentation starts at 6 p.m., weather permitting. $5 donation PACK WALK Visitors can enjoy some quality time with their well-behaved leashed dogs on Saturday, February 20, with a guided walk on the trails. The walk starts at 10 a.m. and there is a $5 donation. NATURE SPROUTS PROGRAM This is a free, fun and active program created for two- to five-year-old children and their favorite adult. It’s held on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for a positive nature experience to little ones. Kids respond with wide-eyed awe, as they are introduced to the creatures that make their home at TLNC. (Currently this program has been suspended due to COVID-19) FIELD LEARNING EXPERIENCES TLNC offers activities February 27 1-3 p.m. Activities for school age children and up on February 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. $10 donation. TLNC’s Education Building recently installed a new photography exhibit, “Florida’s Enchanted Waters,” featuring a collection of images of Florida’s springs, swamps and seas as well as the wildlife found at the park. The exhibit by Linda Wilinski will be up until March 1, 2021.
Trout Lake Nature Center is located at 520 E. County Road 44 in Eustis. General admission at the nature center complex is donation-based and funds programs, new exhibits and staff costs. TLNC’s regular hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (extended hours on Thursdays to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.) TLNC is closed for maintenance on Mondays. Phone 352-357-7536 or go to www.troutlakenaturecenter.com/events for more information. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, this month, click here. Discover the area's online event calendar here. Also download the area's free mobile app.