Back Woods Forest Preserve

Spot iconic birds and the signs of endangered species as you explore our large MOSI Outside campus.

Gopher Tortoise

Spot the signs of endangered species like gopher tortoises, along with iconic birds like fish-hunting ospreys, as you explore 25 acres of our vast MOSI Outside campus.

Hike through wetland, scrub, and flatwoods habitats and keep an eye out for a variety of birds, reptiles, and other Florida wildlife.

Located in the Southeastern portion of the MOSI campus, the Back Woods Forest Preserve is a diminutive forest oasis in a sea of urban development. Packed into 25 acres is a notable array of many Central Florida habitats, complete with distinct sandhill, hardwood wetland, mesic pine flatwoods, and upland hardwood hammock communities.

This outdoor experience is open only in acceptable weather.

MOSI Back Woods Forest PreserveCurrently, MOSI staff and volunteers are working to restore these habitats, remove invasive species, refurbish trails and boardwalks, and create new interpretive signage and guides to make this area a better educational experience for all of our guests and the surrounding community. Look for changes to the Back Woods as we continue to improve this area.

The Back Woods Forest Preserve is open to the public 363 days a year, except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, during the Museum’s operating hours. There is no admission fee to the Back Woods and MOSI admission is not required for use.

Intoxicants, firearms, hunting, bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, motorized vehicle use, collecting of plants or animals, and smoking are not permitted within the preserve boundaries. Pets must be leashed and all pet waste picked up and disposed of properly.


Environmental Protection Commission Pollution Recovery Fund

In 2007 MOSI was awarded a Pollution Recovery Fund grant from the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) of Hillsborough County. Current restoration activities, including non-native invasive plant treatment, are funded under this grant.