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Ste Anne des Lacs Abandoned Shrine

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

Andrew Thoreson
Feb 2019
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (25)

Snapshots! (8)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? A
Birding D *
Wildlife D
Summer Heat B
Terrain B *
Fun Hike B *
Maintained D *
Mosquitos B
Biting Files A
Ticks B
NOTE: Maybe ducks in lake
NOTE: Not maintained but not weedy either.
NOTE: Not much of a hike distance though
NOTE: No weeds but I think that's the max anybody does here
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 1239 St.Anne Shrine Rd, Lake Wales, FL, Polk, USA, 33898

1) What It's Like

It is a bizarre pretty large shrine / grotto type thing that's slowly falling apart over the decades but is pretty usable at it's core. Some remnants are on the late, a little bridge you drive over, and a cairn (is that the word?).

2) Kinds of Birds

Not a birding spot though trees and a lake so you might see some.

3) Wildlife

Squirrels, that's about it.

4) Amenities

There's no fence keeping you out and there's some parking if you actually drive towards the shrine.

5) Directions

IMPORTANT MAYBE - There are two roads coming to this lake - Saint Anne Lake. You'll probably take 60 to St.Anne Shrine Road (funny I didn't remember it was actually named after it). Almost directly across the lake is the shrine but don't expect to see it - it's off the road. You might see constructions related to it though. If you turn left (so going clockwise) you'll see this white pedestal, car-high, with Latin on it. And across from that stairs. The stairs were the church they took down. Very close to that is the very short driveway/path to the shrine. Drive down there to park - nobody said to do that it just causes less hassle than parking on someone's lawn. I don't think you're killing grass and I'm pretty sure it is the intention.  If you keep going down the road there is a stone bridge and thing on the water that used to light up. That's definitely too far.

6) Dear Ranger

Does anyone care for this place?

7) Time Requirements

15-30 minutes likely. Not a hike though there may be short trails behind it - there are beginnings of trails but not clear on what is private property.


It's a big abandoned shrine. Pretty great. There was a lighted thing on the pond until the 70s, there was a chapel / church (cathlolic). Now there are only steps (look left from entrance). The stuff by the road and on the pond is just eroding away. People park trucks almost on it. The shrine itself had running water with pumps and a side shrine - it's pretty impressive. Read wikipedia for the story.

From what I've read of the history of this place it was built by Catholics from Quebec, it was popular to the point that it was an issue for the neighborhood, then I believe during WW2 that tie was cut. Then the local diocese didn't want to keep it up, the church was disassembled, and the ground was deconsecrated. I believe they own the land and it's fine to visit but it's not something that's really maintained. People do seem to visit and leave stuff out.

How often do you get to use that word. deconsecrated - fun.

The place itself though - look at the pictures. I love finding bits of culture or bits of unknown treasures. Makes the world seem so much bigger and richer. Plus it is a spiritual place - very nice place to visit. Never regret stopping here.

There are kind of short trails behind here - I think that at one time they were official spiritual contemplation paths. But when we walk there we always feel like we're in someone's backyard before long.

Other things in Lake wales - the Lake Wales ridge, Bok Tower, Spook Hill, the Lake Wales ridge is named after this town (unique ecosystem visible from satellite) (wiki).

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