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“Gators and birds and hogs oh my!!”

Circle B Bar Reserve
Ranked #1 of 54 things to do in Lakeland
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 9, 2014

This is a beautiful place to visit early in the morning to see any variety of animals located in central Florida. Gator, all kinds of birds, and the occasional wild hog. You can walk, or ride your bike. It's so beautiful every time you visit, it's like your first time!! Truly a gem in Polk County!!

1  Thank Cynthia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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526 - 530 of 603 reviews

Reviewed May 29, 2014

As soon as you enter the grounds you are surrounded by the biggest and most beautiful trees covered in Spanish Moss!!! You have to go before 4pm to use the indoor facilities. We followed a trail to the lake, hoping to see some Pelicans! We got to the jetty on the Lake and saw lots of Osprey diving into the water picking up huge fish! We counted 150 White Pelicans on the water!!! Walking through we saw large Alligators, a Raccoon raiding an alligator nest, eating the eggs.So many water birds!! Take lots to drink, there is a picnic area, take sun screen too. Fantastic place, you need all day !!

3  Thank Valerie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2014

If you are driving between Tampa and Orlando or visa versa, this is a little gem, best thing Lakeland could do was preserve this park and admission is FREE! We chose the 2 mile nature trail, shaded with tons of live oak trees draped in hanging spanish moss. We visited on a breezy, sunny warm day in April and saw tons of egrets, ibis, commorants and others that I could not identify. There were many alligators lazily floating in the lake. Turles and other small creatures along the way. I will surely go back with my bird book in hand and a telefoto lens. i got some great bird photos but in the wild you really need a larger lens. Make time to check out the vistor's center at the entrance to the park. Wildlife viewing varies with the seasons. LOVED THIS PLACE. You can spend an hour or all day here. Just visit and do make a donation.

1  Thank trvlseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2014

This is my favorite preserve EVER and its FREE!! I have been to many national/state parks and never come close to the variety of wildlife, cleanliness, learning opportunities, viewing choices as I have with this place. There are nice picnic areas with grills, a learning center area with nice bathrooms, a series of fabulous trails through a variety of different types of terrain and more diversity of wildlife than I have ever seen in one place. It is a bird paradise. I have never seen so many birds or heard such loud birdsong everywhere you go. Gators everywhere. Watch as you stroll the trails. There was a big one right by the path and I didn’t see him but he saw me and darted into the water. But they leave you alone as long as you respect their home. We saw gators, wild pigs, birds of all kinds (including baby sandhill cranes!), turtles, frogs, osprey, raccoons, otters. The trails are all well marked and they have guide maps at the visitor center as well as an app you can download. You can choose a walk through the shallow marsh or out to the deep water marsh, along the river to the huge lake, through a grove of old giant moss covered oak trees. Your options are varied and I have not done a trail I didn’t love…well maybe the Lost Bridge trail which had a lot of mosquitos and was mostly through the swampy forest which can be quite muddy unavoidably. My favorite spots were the Alligator Alley trail by the lake and also the deep marsh area (Wading Bird Way). Different times of day, varied weather conditions and different seasons all bring something different so it’s never the same experience twice. I find that although it always seems full when you arrive at the parking area once you are on the trails it is very pleasant and you hardly see anyone. So don’t worry if you like some peace and quiet. There is a lot of great solitude to be had here. All the trails are a pleasant walk and no steep grades so really doable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Fantastic for a leisurely walk, a run, a bike ride, a picnic, bird watching and wildlife viewing. Can’t be beat and did I mention FREE!!!! Also...disclaimer...I have a good zoom on my camera so I was not as up close to the wildlife as it appears. It is really important to respect distance and not disturb the wildlife. This place is truly REAL FLORIDA.

3  Thank HollyA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2014

We thought we were in for a very boring afternoon to nature watch with our bird watching sister in -law.What an amazing surprise.We didn't know what to look at first.Alligator alley had alligators sunning themselves on the shore,and lots of them in the water.We saw broken eggs along the trail, and upon a closer look..there in the shallow water, were about 20 just hatched baby alligators.We saw racoons and their babies,Sand Hill Cranes and 2 chicks..so beautiful to see.There were eagles sitting on their nests and flying back and forth to bring back food.Too many turtles of every color to even begin to describe.
Wear a hat,sunscreen..take a camera, and a bottle of water and you can easily be there for a few hours.
We also enjoyed the bike trails on another day, but you can see way more on foot.
We spent our winter in Auburndale..there was nothing to do there, so we went to Circle B a lot.Every time we went we saw new wild life we didn't see the previous time.I can't say enough about the place...and beyond my comprehention..it's absolutely free!!!

2  Thank siestalover1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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