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.
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.
Lake Wales Ridge State Forest
Plan to meet at McDonalds in Frostproof – Itersection of CR 630 and Scenic Hwy 17
N 27° 42.493 W 081° 26.760
Your Excursion Guide
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.
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 Repellent
McDonald’s in Frostproof at the intersection of CR 630 and Scenic Hwy 17