The Nature Conservancy’s Tiger Creek Preserve is home to one of the highest concentrations of threatened and endangered plants and animals in the USA, some of which exist nowhere else on the planet.
Located along the eastern side of the Lake Wales Ridge in Babson Park, this area was an island in ancient times. Its namesake, Tiger Creek, is one of only 2 or 3 streams of its type that still exist along this spine of peninsular Florida. These unique features provide a rare variety of habitats that are a real treat for hikers.
More than 10 miles of trails wind through rapidly vanishing Florida uplands. Just 10% of the original native habitats along the Lake Wales Ridge still exist. Although no trails lead to Tigers Creek, the Patrick Creek Loop Trail takes you across this feeder stream, lush with vegetation.
Distanced from any major city, this nearly 5,000 acre property has a delightfully remote feel. While this preserve has some similarities to Catfish Creek Preserve State Park to the north, I found these trails a bit easier to negotiate (less super-soft sugar sand). However, being located up on the ridge, much of this preserve is exposed to the harsh Florida sun with little shade, so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunblock.
Know Before You Go! Check out the Photo Gallery, WonderMap, and links provided. If Tiger Creek Preserve piques your interest, I encourage you to visit. If not, check out our Bucket List and Where-to-Go to find the perfect spots for you to enjoy Florida’s Natural Wonders.
Tiger Creek Preserve hiking WonderMap. Tip >> Click on waypoint flags for GPS waypoint photos.
674 Pfundstein Rd.
Babson Park, FL 33827