Typical view [?]
NOTE: Hunting here so assume deer
NOTE: Very grassy
NOTE: C-... birds but not so scenic
NOTE: A lot of grass to walk through
NOTE: Better than average because low shade
LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 10701 Old Grade Rd, Polk City, FL, Polk, USA, 33868
5 CLOSEST (Map)
1) What It's Like
It's just a jeep trail / hiking trail through an area that is mostly low pines but a lot of low but varied vegetation. As a hike it's pretty boring - pretty exposed, not very interesting views and you can hear the interstate through much of it. For birding though it seems to be the right kind of vegetation (seeds) to bring them in and the right height to actually be able to see them. Not good idea in summer - no shade.
2) Kinds of Birds
A lot of catbirds, a lot birds I heard but couldn't see (I'm not good enough with calls to tell you what they were), cardinals, warblers, wren. The seed bearing vegetation at the right height makes it a good place to see birds. That may change if they do prescribed burns.
I saw nothing but people hunt here so I assume deer would have to be around.
A parking area and signs were adequate.
Go n/ne on Old Grade Rd / 557 from I4. The entrance going s/sw seemed less interesting.
6) Time Requirements
Judging by the map I'm guesstimating that there are 15 miles of non-loop trails. Plus there were crossroads in there that didn't match up with the official trail map. SO - you could keep busy in there for a long day I'd assume. BUT - I don't think I would spend an entire day just doing this... it's just not that interesting (from what I saw). It does start out being a good birding spot pretty much immediately so you could just spend 15 minutes if you wanted to.
I did the east side of this first (Home Run Blvd) and that was not very impressive. So this was a nice surprise. It wasn't a horrid hike in terms of just hiking but it is just walking along a grass road / jeep trail with the same short pines and vegetation. BUT - as I said above the plants growing there brought in a ton of birds. Also hiking this in summer would probably be brutal due to not much shade. So a worthy spot to stop on the way to other places for the purpose of birding.
Walking through the somewhat tall thick grass can be aggravating with a few holes here and there but nothing like the east side entrance.
It seems prone to flooding - not a great one after rains.
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