Turtle Round

All of us at Trout Lake Nature Center are on a mission to educate and inform people of all ages about not only our environment, but on how to protect and preserve the lands, waters and their inhabitants. As a regional educational resource we hold numerous demonstrations, talks, events and educational opportunities that will interest all ages. Our commitment to work hand and hand with the Lake County school system allows children to gain a unique perspective of our area’s wildlife and lands. Learn More.

Bear Round3

We love to share the great experiences at Trout Lake Nature Center. We offer many events every year to bring our visitors on the journey with us. From nature walks, musical events, Nature Sprouts program, scouting events, holiday events and more we bring excitement to the study and enjoyment of nature and wildlife. Tell your friends, neighbors and classmates about us and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date. Learn More.


To see the joy on a child’s face as they encounter one of our box turtles or any one of the other critters that make the Trout Lake Nature Center home, reminds us why we do what we do. A visit to our dock on Trout Lake to watch the sunset is a wonderful peaceful way to end the day. There is much to do on the 230 acre property, with several trails, a swinging bridge and picnic area. Don’t miss our stunning grandfather oaks.

Welcome to Trout Lake Nature Center

Central Florida’s Regional Resource For Habitat and Wildlife Education


Trout Lake Nature Center

Last year Trout Lake Nature Center had over 10,000 visitors, not including students or program participants. TLNC is a wonderful place to experience natural Florida and learn about this very special region of the state. Visitors enjoy walking the many trails, visiting the museum and the peaceful lake boardwalk.

Give Back Night Ad Slick 1

Chili’s is doing a Give Back day on June 28th that is where 10% of any meals purchased by TLNC supporters will be donated by Chili’s to TLNC. Anyone wanting to be part of the program just needs to bring a copy of the coupon with them and turn into their server, Attached is a copy of the coupon. Paper copies can be obtained from TLNC too.

We want folks to share the coupon with as many people as possible and encourage folks to come to Chili’s for a good meal with friends while helping do something good.

Trout Lake Nature Center  Amenities


The Charles Newell Museum houses a collection of Central Florida wildlife specimens, a reading center and areas for experimentation.

The Environmental Education Building includes an audio/visual center that seats 125, a diorama of Central Florida wildlife in a natural setting, a lending library and a collection of butterflies, moths, shells and fossils. Come and visit our turtle tank and browse through our wonderful collection of literature on nature and Florida.

Interpretive Pine Flatwoods Trails

Throughout our 230 acre property there are many trails for hiking and enjoying the outdoors. Don’t miss our swinging bridge on the Adventure Trail. You will also find interpretive signs throughout the property that highlight different plants and animals. Keep an eye out for our resident box turtles! Click here for  a printable PDF of the TLNC Trail Map.

TLNC trail map for printing-1

Boardwalk and Lake Pavilion

Picnic Pavilion

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Take time during your visit to enjoy a picnic lunch in the screened picnic pavilion or under the majestic Grandfather Oak.

Grand Father Oak

Events and Programs

TLNC is dedicated to educating about our unique Central Florida environment. We hope that our visitors feel closer to nature and learn something new with each visit.

During the past year we offered a variety of events and programs.

Halloween Nights – We shared how bats, snakes and spiders are an important part of our ecosystem and maybe they are not as scary as Hollywood leads us to believe. The children dressed in costumes and enjoyed this alternative Halloween activity.

Sunset at  the Rookery– Participants enjoyed a beverage in our lake dock as the sun set and flocks of birds returned to their lakeside rookery. This was followed by a wonderful meal and live music around a campfire.

Full Moon Hike– Guests took a magical walk through the TLNC trails as the full moon floated overhead.

Other programs included

Turkey Talk with Danny Caudill of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Art With and About Nature by Ray Grayford and Wendy Poag

Amazing Arachnids by John Serrao

Yes, Virginia, Florida Does Have A Winter Season by Teresa Watkins

Wildlife at TLNC by Stan Napier and Bill Bygrave

What Lives In Florida Lakes? By Dr. Cichra and Sharon Fitz-Coy

Ribbets, Croaks, Tadpoles and Frogs by Dr. Stephen Johnson

What’s In a Name? by Rick Reed

Nature Photography by Jesse Yarnel

We Partner With Lake County Schools

We work with Lake County teachers to provide the TLNC Field Experience. It is a progressive program that advances as the children reach higher grade levels and is correlated to Florida’s education standards.

Beginning with Pre-K  we help students develop an understanding of what makes animals “real live animals” and how they use their senses to find food and survive in the forest.

Kindergartners study different plants and animals and learn in what ways they are alike and how they differ. They will also participate in a discussion of how the media will portray animals and plants with characteristics and behaviors that they do not have in real life.

First graders learn about the life cycles of plants and the role that water and sunshine play in their survival. They will learn how a tree not only makes its own food, but provides food , shelter and other materials for animals and people.

Second graders learn how all living things are interdependent on one another. And how living things can be found everywhere on land, in water and in the sky, but to survive their basic needs must be met.

Third graders visit the four main ecosystems within TLNC. They record and observe the differences in light, water, soil and temperature and how conditions are created to make different animals comfortable.  They also adopt an animal for the day and try to find out what it needs to survive.

Fourth graders learn about plants and the food chain. They learn how plants provide shelter, food and oxygen and that without plants, people and animals would cease to exist.

Fifth graders are challenged to understand the role of animal adaptations, both structural and behavioral that allow them to survive and meet their needs within their habit.

Learn more about our educational programs.