Water-Related News

Polk County’s Tiger Creek Preserve is now part of the Great Florida Birding Trail

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When you want to know where to go in Florida to see native birds, butterflies and more, head for the Trail. Sites listed on the official Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail are selected for inclusion based on their unique wildlife viewing opportunities and ecological significance, educational opportunities, access for the public and resilience to recreational use. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has proudly selected 14 new sites to receive this distinction.

The Trail is a network of more than 500 premier wildlife viewing sites across the state. Every year, millions of people, residents and visitors alike, participate in wildlife viewing activities, contributing billions of dollars to Florida’s economy but the ultimate goal of the Trail is to encourage conservation of Florida’s native habitats and species.

About The Nature Conservancy's Tiger Creek Preserve: Just 20 minutes from the town of Lake Wales is the ancient island of the Lake Wales Ridge, harboring rare plants and animals only found in Central Florida. With two main entrances at Wakeford Road and Pfundstein Road, over ten miles of hiking trails offer an ever-changing array of wildflower blooms, wildlife viewing possibilities and opportunities to enjoy nature’s solace. During breeding season look for young Bald Eagles, Barred Owls, Swallow-tailed Kites or swooping Great-crested Flycatchers chasing insects in the air. Year-round you can hear Northern Bobwhite, Common Ground-dove and Red-headed Woodpeckers. Look for migrant Northern Waterthrushes, Black-throated Blue Warblers or American Redstarts. Keep your eyes peeled for animal tracks on the trails’ white sand. If lucky, you’ll see Gopher Tortoises, Gopher Frogs, River Otters, Striped Mud Turtles, Pine Snakes or Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies. Named after a pristine blackwater stream, the preserve contains hardwood swamps, hammocks, scrubby flatwoods, seasonal ponds and longleaf pine wiregrass habitat—something for everyone. There are no facilities, so plan ahead. Be sure to download a georeferenced trail map at the trailhead or website and check out the bird and plant lists.