Circle B Bar Reserve offers “the real Florida” for free

Circle B Bar Reserve is a 1,267-acre nature preserve located in Polk County, Florida near Lakeland. The preserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, birds, and mammals. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and fishing in the preserve.

Circle B Bar Reserve was purchased to help maintain a marsh area, as were many preserved areas that remain in Florida,. The Circle B Bar was the name of the cattle ranch that once occupied the land.

Here are some of the things you can do at Circle Bar Bar Reserve:

  • Hiking: There are more than 10 miles of hiking trails in Circle Bar Bar Reserve. The trails are well-maintained and offer a variety of scenery, including forests, wetlands, and meadows.
  • Biking: There also are paved offering a scenic ride through the preserve.
  • Fishing: Circle Bar Bar Reserve has several lakes and ponds in the preserve that are stocked with fish.
This wildlife blind helps you spot critters without them spotting you.

Here are some tips for visiting Circle Bar Bar Reserve:

This log had 3 turtles on it, until a big alligator surfaced and pushed a turtle off to take its sunny spot!
  • Wear comfortable shoes: The trails in Circle Bar Bar Reserve can be uneven, so it is important to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Bring sunscreen: The sun can be strong in Florida, so it is important to bring sunscreen and a good hat. Parts of the trails have some shade, but some of the trails are quite wide open to the sun.
  • Bring a camera: Circle Bar Bar Reserve is a beautiful place where you can capture all kinds of wildlife in photos or videos. You need to take your time and just meander. You never know when something will pop up out of the water or wander across one of the trails. Both of these happened when we visited — and both instances involved large alligators!
  • Be aware of the wildlife: Circle Bar Bar Reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, birds, and mammals. Always be aware of your surroundings and do not approach the wildlife. Also, keep in mind that gators often like to chill in the reeds at the edge of the marsh. We had a situation where a member of our party was standing on the trail looking at a lake and didn’t realize that just on the other side of the reeds, an alligator was sunning itself!

We recommend visiting Circle B Bar — it’s hard to believe it’s available for no fee. Even the parking is free! Anytime you can get to some sort of preserve in Florida, we recommend doing so to get a taste of “the real Florida.” In this case, we say pack a lunch, bring the family and plan to hang out watching for real Florida wildlife.

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