Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA)
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Public access facilities and trails are open from sunrise to sunset. Facilities include boardwalks, observation tower, canoe launch, educational information and trailhead, approximately 2-mile of trails and parking. Take a walk through 298 acres of undeveloped mature coastal hammock, scrubby flatwoods and estuarine wetlands. The Conservation Area is located on Oslo Road (150 9th Street SE), east of US Highway 1. Parking is located at the south-west corner of the Conservation Area, directly east of South Vero Square Shopping Center.
The hammock community is at a climax, mature stage of growth. Some of the live oaks dominating the canopy of the hammock are hundreds of years old, and are capable of living many years to come. Native groundcover and understory is composed on wild coffee, myrsine, marlberry, firebush, native wildflowers, saw palmetto, cabbage palms and a wide array of other hammock species. A walk along the "Hammock Loop" trail provides the visitor with a view of dense maritime hammock full of wildlife including neo-tropical songbirds, native songbirds, woodpeckers, hawks, squirrels and per chance a raccoon, armadillo, opossum or two!
The Scrubby Pine Flatwoods trails is at a higher elevation and contains many bromeliads, large sand pines, saw palmettos and native wildflowers. This area is typically hotter and dryer with white, well-drained, sandy soils. A venture further into the ORCA, will lead one to the Coastal Wetlands, an impounded estuarine wetland managed by mosquito control. This trail leads to a large wildlife observation tower, an observation platform and a canoe dock that connects to the Indian River Lagoon. The conservation area is a designated Great Florida Birding Trail (www.FloridaBirdingTrail.com).