Circle B Bar Reserve offers 12 hiking/biking trails through more than 7 miles of pure central Florida eye candy. Located on the northwest shore of Lake Hancock in Lakeland, this 1267 acre former cattle ranch is a model of environmental restoration. A collaboration between the Polk County Environmental Lands Program and the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Circle B has been largely returned to its former self, an impressive haven for a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Conveniently located just minutes off of I-4, right between the busy metropolises of Tampa and Orlando, it’s easy to see why this place is so popular. Circle B Bar Reserve is famous for its Alligator Alley Trail along the lake and its wide variety of wetlands birds found along Banana Creek Marsh, but Eagle Roost Trail takes you across near desert-like upland terrain that presents a sharp contrast to the wetlands. Other trails take you through forests of giant oaks adorned with Spanish moss and resurrection ferns. The Cow Camp area even offers open pastures, along with historical structures and artifacts.
Let me put it this way: I spent 4.75 hours hiking 7.5 miles as I shot nearly 600 photos. And 3 short videos. I still didn’t experience every trail. Truly, this is a beautiful park where you are guaranteed to see lots of wildlife, massive oaks and stately cypress trees dripping with Spanish moss. Don’t expect to have the place to yourself…although I had Eagle Roost Trail and Marsh Rabbit Run all to myself. (Happy dance!) By the way, this is also home to Polk’s Nature Discovery Center, a great interactive learning resource.
Check out the Photo Gallery (which I cut down to around 200 pics), the WonderMaps, Videos and links provided. I think you’ll agree that if you’re within reasonable driving range, this place is worth exploring. See our Bucket List and Where-to-Go for other great places to experience Florida’s Natural Wonders, whether hiking, biking, paddling, boating, horseback riding…or just a nice place to have a picnic.
Circle B Bar Reserve hiking, Garmin version.
4399 Winter Lake Road
Lakeland, FL 33803
Southwest Florida Water Management District/Circle B Bar Reserve