Circle B Bar Reserve
Circle B Bar Reserve
5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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5:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
5:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
5:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
5:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
5:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
5:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
5:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
5:30 AM - 8:00 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
1,001 reviews
Excellent
852
Very good
136
Average
13
Poor
0
Terrible
0

JoAnn R
Clarks Summit, PA131 contributions
Feb 2023
We visited late on a Sunday afternoon and early on a Monday morning. On the Sunday the trails were quite busy with lots of families. On Monday morning it was very quiet, with mostly birders and photographers. We parked in the second parking lot (near the visitor center) and walked the Shady Oak trail out to where it intersects with Alligator Alley and the Marsh Rabbit trail. On Sunday late afternoon we turned right onto Marsh Rabbit and walked out as far as it was straight, then turned around and retraced our steps. We saw alligators both in the water and on the path, as well as many kinds of wading birds and black-bellied whistling ducks. The path was easy to walk, though keep watch for the roots. It was so cool to walk with swamp and marshland on either side of you, never knowing what you would see. In the morning we walked out Shady Oak again, but this time turned left onto Alligator Alley and did the loop all the way to the parking lot. So much bird life to see, and of course, alligators as well. Also saw an armadillo. Walking along the lake under the moss draping off the trees was so peaceful. I can't wait to go back again next year!
Written 5 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Barbara J
Winter Haven, FL242 contributions
Dec 2022 • Friends
We have visited the Circle B on several occasions and have really enjoyed the beautiful walks. We saw a bald eagle during our first visit last year and, this time around, we saw four Great.Blue Herons, two gaters, and many cormorants, ehingas, and egrets.

Very enjoyable and great for taking family and friends.
Written 29 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sweetdreams37
74 contributions
Jan 2023
There are several hiking trails along with the gators, foxes, boars,rabbits and such. Bring a camera cause those big gators are out many times. Little creation house with fun information for kids
Written 12 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Holly K
Celebration, FL433 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
Best park in Lakeland, heck best park I have been to! Free parking, free entry, picnic area, educational area, tours via cart (look up days and times), they host tree planting days, invasive species days (you pull out the plants/weeds), etc. They are open ALMOST year round (check times but usually open in summer/early fall 5:30-8:00 and adjust a bit in winter).

Quite a large park, around 1200 acres. It used to be a cattle ranch and you will always see birds, (99% chance of seeing at least 1 alligator) in Lake Hancock. At times you may have a HUGE alligator run (slowly walk in front of you...the 2nd time we were here a 13 foot alligator walked in front of us and just his tail popping back into the water...was cool but also made you think the amount of weight!!!!!)

Circle B Bar Reserve is a nature reserve (rules; No pets, No balloons, No music and don't be a Darwin Award Winner...don't go within a few inches of the water to get a better photo of the gators, don't throw food at the Gator to try and get it to react, don't send your grandkids down closer to the water for a better photo (OMG grandpa what were you thinking), well, you get it...as my 2nd cousin from Boston would say, "don't be a freakin' igit"!

Trails
Shady Oak Trail — (1.3 miles, Easy, Shaded)
This trail takes you through an oak hammock, where you can watch for cabbage palms wrapped in trumpet vines, live oak branches covered with resurrection ferns, Spanish moss + the butterfly orchid. Might see a rabbit, boar or take a photo or two..nice in the shade😉

Lost Bridge Trail — (0.5 miles, Easy, Mostly Shaded) This trail leads you through an oak canopy to a long boardwalk that gives you a feeling of 'walking on water' through the swamp.

Alligator Alley — (1 mile, Easy, Mostly Shaded) This trail leads you through an oak canopy and wonderful for family photos!!

Marsh Rabbit Run — (0.7 miles, Easy, Partially Shaded) This trail takes you past a shallow marsh where you MAY see spoonbills, white ibis + red-bellied woodpeckers. Watch for otters + turtles

Heron Hideout — (0.5 miles, Easy, Little Shade) This trail crosses the marsh + can either return you to the Discovery Center or provide the shortest way to the marsh (in summer...take the short path unless you want to lose 4 pounds in water weight)!

Eagle Roost — (0.7 miles, Moderate, No Shade) This trail takes you through an uphill habitat under restoration with planted longleaf pines and wiregrass. Reptiles + birds. Moderate for Florida but easy incline but OMG in summer bloody hot after 8:30 am🔥

Wading Bird Way — (0.7 miles, Moderate, No Shade - blue herons + white pelicans

Windmill Whisper — (0.4 miles, Moderate, Some Shade)
This trail takes you through an oak hammock that connects to Wading Bird Way and Shady Oak.

Otter Trail — (0.2 miles, Easy, Shaded)
This trail you may find owls be on the lookout!

Wildlife; according to the literature..I've seen a few and the lovely people who give tours point these beautiful creatures out!

alligators, eagles, osprey, red shouldered hawks, wild turkey, barred owls, wood storks, white ibis, sandhill cranes, moorhens, pied-billed grebes, black-necked stilts, red-bellied woodpeckers, bobwhite quails, eastern meadowlarks, savannah sparrows, American kestrels, great blue herons, American white pelicans, sandpipers, spoonbills, great egrets, ducks and other waterfowl and wading birds.

You might also see otters, bobcats ( I have been here 60 times a have not seen a bobcat, a family from London came 1x and BAM - saw a bobcat right near the parking lot - hate them just a tiny bit🙃)...

grey fox, armadillos, squirrels (gray and fox varieties), frogs, turtles, black racer snakes, five-lined racerunner lizards + other reptiles.

Go, enjoy the heck out of it, bring water, a hat, watch for thunderstorms and know in summer you will sweat! But it is a wonderful and beautiful place!💕💕💕
Written 11 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Del B
Crawley, UK106 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
Spent ages walking around ( signs are misleading), only animal we saw was a stick insect, can’t understand all the positive reviews as ( although picturesque) , it’s not all it’s cracked up to be
Written 10 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cherry Z
1 contribution
Aug 2022 • Family
Amazing park, one of the best we have experienced out of all those years. Spotted many birds, alligators, water snakes etc. Well maintained, will visit there every time we get a chance!
Written 14 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sara S
Glendale, CO123 contributions
Aug 2022
The wildlife and beauty of this park can’t be beat. I will come back again and walk all the trails. We visited on a rainy day and that didn’t discourage us from puddle jumping. Alligator Alley didn’t disappoint. We saw at least 4 alligators swimming in the lake and another in the marsh. I can’t believe this park is free.
Written 10 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brandy
Charleston, WV19 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
We spent an entire morning hiking and exploring the nature preserve. This is a very well maintained park. Even in near 100 degree heat we were able to see numerous alligators, birds and other animals in their natural habitat. If visiting the Lakeland area, I highly recommend visiting.
Written 18 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KarenOT
Telford, UK54 contributions
May 2022
Real alligators moving along in front of you, lots of beautiful birds, turtles, fish, butterflies, the experience was just amazing. You can do short walks or long ones, you can even find some geo-caches if this is your thing. As a Brit I have to say that this nature reserve its absolutely brilliant - so much nicer seeing nature as it should be.
Written 16 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

barrynoah
Davenport, FL808 contributions
Apr 2022
What a great place to visit - we did a group tour, the guide was outstanding - these are all volunteers. Tons to see - animals like eagles, alligators, birds on many kind. A great two hour tour.
Written 1 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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CIRCLE B BAR RESERVE (Lakeland) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Circle B Bar Reserve

Circle B Bar Reserve is open:
  • Sun - Sat 5:30 AM - 8:00 PM