Scenic Tour of Lake Wales Ridge State Forest

Lake Wales Ridge State Forest Tour | Central Florida

Lake Wales Ridge State Forest Tour | Central Florida NatureFest 2014: Scenic Tour of Lake Wales Ridge State Forest in Central Florida, Day 4 Excursion, October 26 for NatureFest 2014.

The Lake Wales Ridge State Forest contains outstanding examples of naturally functioning ecosystems including: ancient island scrubs, flat woods, seepage slopes, sand hills, seasonal ponds, undeveloped lakes, bay gall, floodplain swamp, and others.

Day 4 Excursion NatureFest

Hike two miles round trip from School Bus Road through pine flatwoods and into a mixed hardwoods canopy to the edge of pristine Lake Arbuckle. After a short hike along Lake Arbuckle we will return to the vehicles. Then take a short auto trip to Lake Godwin. Finally, we will park at the Reedy Creek parking area and then hike one-mile round trip along Reedy Creek. Points along this hike provide breath-taking elevated views of the creek. Along the way you may see rare scrub plants that are in bloom such as scrub blazing star and rare holly! Don’t miss this three part tour.

Located At

Lake Wales Ridge State Forest
851 Hwy 630 E
Frostproof, FL 33843

Driving Directions

Plan to meet at McDonalds in Frostproof – Intersection of CR 630 and Scenic Hwy 17
From the intersection of US 27 and SR 60 in Lake Wales, take SR 60 E for 9.5 miles. Turn south onto Walk in the Water Rd. Go 9 miles to stop sign at the CR 630A intersection. Walk in the Water Rd. becomes Blue Jordan Rd. south of CR 630A. Go 2 miles to a flashing light at North Lake Reedy Blvd. Turn left onto North Lake Reedy Blvd. and go 1.6 miles to Lake Arbuckle Rd. Turn left onto Lake Arbuckle Rd. and go 1.5 miles to Rucks Dairy Rd. (a dirt road) and turn right. Stop at the Paula Dockery/Reedy Creek Trail Kiosk on the left at the fork in the road and pay daily use fee. Continue following the left fork approximately two miles to the parking area and look for the entrance sign.

Excursion Details

  • Sunday, October 26 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Type: Combo
  • Cost (Per Person): $5.00
  • Max People: 15
  • Where To Meet: McDonald’s in Frostproof at the intersection of CR 630 and Scenic Hwy 17

Your Excursion Guide

Paul Fellers & David Butcher

For more than 45 years Dr. Paul Fellers has led birding and wildflower tours throughout Central Florida. Donating his expertise to lead members of the Audubon Society, The Native Plant Society and many other groups, for many years Dr. Fellers coordinated the Christmas Bird Counts in Polk County. This lifelong conservationist is an excellent tour leader for those looking to discover new species of birds or wildflowers.

As the Forest Resource Administrator for the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest, Dave Butcher has many years of experience in forestry, but also has the overall vision of the forest. Dave will paddle with the group and point out natural resource management techniques and challenges along the way. He also has a great knowledge of the history of the area.

What To Expect?

Many years ago ancient ocean levels rose and covered nearly all of the present-day Florida peninsula isolating the Ridge as an island upon which the plants and animals on this ridge continued to evolve in isolation. Today the scrub ecosystem that thrives on the ridge may have the highest concentration of rare and endangered plants in the continental United States.

What To Bring?

Comfortable Walking Shoes, Water Bottle, Binoculars, Camera, Snacks, Rain Gear, Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses, Insect Repellant, Plant ID Book