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Colt Creek State Park

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

Andrew Thoreson
Sep 2018
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (20)

Snapshots! (20)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
How Big Not Rated
Importance Not Rated
Revisit? B
Birding C *
Wildlife B
Summer Heat B
Terrain B
Fun Hike B
Maintained A
Mosquitos C
Biting Files B
Ticks A *
NOTE: So far none.
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 16000 State Rd 471, Lakeland, FL, Polk, USA, 33809

1) What It's Like

Mostly it's 12 miles of trails in young pine forest and a couple pretty lakes.

It's a new state park (2007) - before that it was a cattle ranch. It's 5,000 acres abutting the huge Green Swamp wilderness area. So it should have a lot of wildlife but I'm guessing because it has the feel of being a young (non-diverse) forest that you don't see the wildlife where the trails are so much. Or we just have bad luck. Regardless it's just pleasant and we keep revisiting. Birding is fair - not packed full of birds but this is the first place we've seen a couple warblers etc. Also the pine forests feel shaded but not dark so it's not a bad place to hike in summer.

2) Kinds of Birds

Woodpeckers, some wading birds in lakes, we've had good luck with warblers.

3) Wildlife

Like I said above - nothing would surprise me but we haven't seen what ought to be here yet: turkey, deer, etc. The ranger said there were some special bobcats there but although bobcats are everywhere you're very lucky if you spot one.

4) Amenities

Very nice! Great shelters, bathrooms, fishing piers. Very nice place to visit. Rangers seem especially friendly.

5) Directions

16 miles north of Lakeland just south of the Withlacoochee River off of State Road 471

6) Dear Ranger

Thank you - you're making it a really nice park!

7) Time Requirements

You could spend all day hiking but often we just stop at the lake then walk a few miles of the trailhead off the main road.


We usually stop at the main lake to take some photos and then drive back to the trail that's off the main road (you see the trailhead on the left side when entering, about half way to the lake where the trees end and it's open suddenly on the left side of the road). It starts out with some tall grasses on the right and the forest on the left then pretty quickly it turns left into the tall young pine forest. That forest has a lot of palmetto bushes down low and the tall pines give the feeling of sort of a large enclosed space. So it's a nice walk. We tend to see birds in the first half mile or mile most often.

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