The Lakeland Highlands Scrub

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2008 Nov 11 #2

2008 Nov 11 #6Want to get far from the crowd without going far from Lakeland? Visit the Lakeland Highlands Scrub. One recent morning I hiked for more than an hour and saw only two other people. I did, however, see birds, butterflies, saw palmetto, longleaf and slash pines, live oaks, wiregrass and goldenrod.

2008 Nov 11 #12Located at the end of Lakeland Highlands Rd., south of Crews Lake Rd., the 551-acre site contains one of the largest undeveloped scrub communities on the Lakeland Ridge.

2008 Nov 11 #5From the parking area, which has a portable toilet and four covered picnic tables, you can hike the 0.6 mile Shady Oak Trail or the 2.2 mile Scrub/Flatwoods Trail.

2008 Nov 11 #3aRising more than 230 feet above sea level, the site provides a home for rare plant species and wildlife such as gopher tortoises, indigo snakes, foxes, and Florida scrub-jays.

2008 Nov 11 #14According to a sign at the entrance, the white sands along the Scrub/Flatwoods trail are beach sands deposited long before the ocean waters receded to their present coastal locations.

2008 Nov 11 #10The Polk County Board of County Commissioners’ Environmental Lands Program and the Florida Communities Trust Preservation 2000 Program purchased the site in 2001 to protect important water, wildlife and wilderness resources.

2008 Nov 11 #4The Lakeland Highlands Scrub is open 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Standard Time and 5:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Daylight Savings Time. Equestrian access is by special permit only. For more information call the Environmental Lands Program at (863) 534-7377.

2008 Nov 11 #1

Additional photos of the Lakeland Highlands Scrub

Creative Commons License All photos credit: Tom Hagerty