Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park

About this property

This property is an oasis in the rapidly developing Orlando area and protects resources of the Econlockhatchee River. Despite its proximity to a metropolitan area, the property is a gem of natural areas with abundant wildlife. Named for a former president and executive director of the Florida Audubon Society, a portion of this property was acquired by the district using funds from the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority and the Florida Department of Transportation as part of the mitigation for beltway construction in the southern part of Orange County. The county also contributed funding to establish a partnership that created this regional preserve.

One of the special highlights of this property is its most famous residents: the red-cockaded woodpecker. Red-cockaded woodpeckers are the only woodpecker in our area that live exclusively in cavities drilled into live pine trees. They require mature pines, especially longleaf pines, that have developed a heart-rot that helps to soften the inner wood of the tree. The birds drill resin wells around their cavities to cause sap to flow onto the face of the tree to discourage predators such as rat snakes from climbing up the tree trunk and into the cavity opening. So keep your eyes peeled while visiting and you may catch a glimpse.

Visitors describe this as an incredibly beautiful place that has been kept that way by a long history of frequent prescribed fire. On average, the St. Johns River Water Management District burns each unit on this property every 2–4 years, which keeps the forest very open with a low grassy understory that is favored by wildlife.

Wildlife viewing

Please respect Florida’s wildlife and use caution while visiting district lands. These are wild animals. For your safety, do not approach or feed any wild animal. Wildlife you may see includes bald eagles, sandhill cranes, gopher tortoises, bobcats, river otters and indigo snakes.

Recreational activities
  1. Trails are available for hiking, horseback riding and bicycling.
  2. Additional activities include fishing and wildlife viewing.
  3. Primitive camping is allowed in designated sites.
  4. Trails connect with Long Branch Park and Pine Lily Preserve to the northeast, which are owned by Orange County.
  5. Geocache located on property. Please visit our geocache database for more information.

Southeast of Orlando. For details and to get driving directions from your location, see the Google Maps link on this page.