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Circle B Bar

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT
Andrew Thoreson
Jan 2019
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (21)

Snapshots! (28)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? A
Birding A
Wildlife B *
Summer Heat B *
Terrain B
Fun Hike B *
Maintained A *
Mosquitos B
Biting Files A
Ticks B
NOTE: Animals used to people but no deer.
NOTE: Part is covered, good part half exposed
NOTE: Parts great, parts are about birds
NOTE: Lots of money put into it.
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 4399 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland, FL, Polk, USA, 33803

1) What It's Like

Part is a short beautiful lush forested trail. Mostly it's raised trails along wetlands and water with copious birding and alligators. Top notch education center. Very accessible and pleasing for say your older relatives and anyone else. A+ place.

2) Kinds of Birds

MANY MANY water birds and interesting ones. Purple gallinules, warring limpkins, flocks of glossy ibis and whistling ducks, Mandarin duck. In forested areas it's also pretty dense - seen several first time warblers here. Tons of cardinals some days. It's also just a place you might run into anything.

3) Wildlife

Most alligators of anyplace I've ever been. 5 of 6 visits that was true. Often see a family of pigs that's not afraid of people. Almost bitten by pygmy rattler. Haven't seen deer but it's a nice place for wildlife in general.

4) Amenities

Great education center. Very well marked trails. I'd just suggest you bring water in summer - it can get exposed if you go across the lake.

5) Directions

4399 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland, FL 33803

No trick or secret to it - just look it up on your phone.

In general it's just south of Lakeland.

 

 

6) Dear Ranger

How did you get so well funded? And great work - really a beautiful place!

7) Time Requirements

Not much of a time commitment to talk to the good parts but I'd expect you'd want to spend an hour there.

Experience

It's hard to wrap Circle B up into one description though we've been many times.

It's named after the cattle ranch that used to be there and it was bought to protect the nearby Banana Creek marsh area. It's mostly of interest for water birds but in the relatively short forest trails that extend from the very well maintained education center we've seen quite a few firsts for warblers etc.

If you go left when facing away from the education center entrance it's a forested trail. Many birds, often a family of pigs seen there. At the end of that you see a lake and quite a few osprey. Once you approach the lake you see what many people likely see as the main event. It's a raised trail with the lake on the left and a ditch or wetlands on the right. The lake has the highest density of alligators I think I've ever seen - it's ridiculous. On both sides there's a high density of water birds. Many herons, egrets, whistling ducks, flocks of glossy ibis, purple and common gallinules, even a mandarin duck, and warring parties of limpkin. Hard not to be impressed really. It's been closed off for most of 2018 - I think alligators have been hanging out on the trail too often. But - if you kept going it would loop around to the education center. When I said go left- that would be going right. From that area there's a berm that goes across the lake and more trails. Across the lake is more exposed and less of interest. Some gopher tortoises. Only place I've almost been bitten by a pygmy rattler (I wasn't looking where I was going). Along this berm sometimes there are lots of swallows but it's at random.

All in all it's an A class place. One of the few places that everyone would enjoy (friends and family) even if they aren't that into nature. It's also an easy walk for older people etc.

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