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Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland

4.9
#1 of 46 in Things to do in Lakeland
Must see · Wildlife Area · Nature / Park
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The Circle B Bar Reserve is an area of protected lands in Polk County, Florida. Comprising 1,267 acres (5.13 km2) at 4399 Winter Lake Road (SR 540) near Lakeland, it is managed by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), which co-owns it with the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The park was purchased in 2000 for $7.4 million using funds provided by an environmental lands acquisition referendum approved by voters in 1994.
Polk's Nature Discovery Center, completed in 2008, features interactive displays about the plants, animals, and ecosystems of the reserve. The center serves as the focus of environmental education programs and explorations for families, school groups, teachers, adults, and other visitors. Construction began in 2007, consisting of four buildings totalling 16,000 square feet at a cost of $6.4 million.
Circle B Bar Reserve is named after the cattle ranch that once occupied the restored wetland site. It was purchased to help maintain the Banana Creek marsh area, home to an array of birds such as white ibis, roseate spoonbills, sandhill cranes and bald eagles, along with other wildlife like alligators, bobcats, snakes, gray squirrels, river otters, and wild hogs.
The preserve has been designated as a Great Florida Birding Trail site, a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Sites are selected for their excellent birdwatching, wildlife viewing, or educational opportunities. Circle B Bar contains 3.5 miles (5.6 km)s of unpaved hiking/biking trails and is connected to the paved Fort Fraser Trail by the 0.6-mile paved Fort Fraser-Circle B Bar Connector Trail, which runs from Lakeland to Bartow.
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Circle B Bar Reserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
995 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Amazing park, one of the best we have experienced out of all those years. Spotted many birds, alligators, water snakes etc. Well maintained, will visit there every time we get a chance! 
    Amazing park, one of the best we have experienced out of all those years. Spotted many birds, alligators, water snakes etc. Well maintained, will visit there every time we get a chance!  more »
  • The wildlife and beauty of this park can’t be beat. I will come back again and walk all the trails. We visited on a rainy day and that didn’t discourage us from puddle jumping. Alligator Alley didn’t....  more
    The wildlife and beauty of this park can’t be beat. I will come back again and walk all the trails. We visited on a rainy day and that didn’t discourage us from puddle jumping. Alligator Alley didn’t....  more »
Google
  • Great hiking park. Taken family here on visits many times. It has a nice indoor visitors center, it could use a water stand. The trails are nice, when they aren’t closed. Hit or miss. And as for the animals, it’s nice to see them living their life in the wild not zoos. In total. It’s im fun once or twice :)
  • This is a great place to walk and see wildlife, including plenty of alligators. It was brutally hot the day I went and I didn't bring enough water, but that was my fault. My daughter and I saw two gators get into a bit of a scuffle in the water. That was pretty exciting. It didn't last long before one gave up and fled, but it was really cool to see (from a safe distance, of course!)

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