Scenic Tour of Lake Wales Ridge State Forest
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
We will visit several different sites and unique features on the Walk-in-Water tract and the Arbuckle tract of the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest. There will be several short hikes offered and sites along the road.
Lake Wales Ridge State Forest
Plan to meet at McDonalds in Frostproof – 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
McDonald’s in Frostproof at the intersection of CR 630 and Scenic Hwy 17