Conner Preserve is owned and managed by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
The 2,980 acre preserve, acquired in 2003, is predominantly open prairie land. There
are lakes, marsh areas, and stands of bald cypress that make it home to a large
variety of wildlife. Sightings of white tail deer and coyotes are common. This is
a good place to visit and explore during Florida's winter and spring months,
since the sparcity of shaded areas make for brutal hiking during the hot summer.
The property was originally a privately owned catlle ranch, but large portions of
the existing pasture land is being restored to a more natural habitat.
are 15 miles of unpaved multi-use trails in the preserve, suitable for hiking or
mountain biking. There are also 6 miles of equestrian trails. The main entrance
off S.R. 52 has a parking area and walk-through for hikers and bicyclists. Vehicles
with horse trailers must obtain a day use permit in order to drive to the equestrian
parking area. Several primitive campsites exist in the preserve, but as of this
writing the Southwest Florida Water Management District says camping is closed at
One of the more interesting features of Conner Preserve is an RC flying field maintained
by the Bay City Flyers model airplane club. The field has two well-maintained grass
runways, two 100 foot long shelters, and restroom facitilies that are open to the
public. This is the largest, and most active, RC flying club in the Tampa Bay area
- and on any particular day you will find quite a few flyers at the flying field
with their aircraft - everything from small RC planes, to drones, to 1/3 scale aircraft