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sandy scrub hiking trail at Crooked Lake Prairie in Babson Park, FL

Babson Park

You’ll find Babson Park nestled along the Ridge Scenic Highway, a scenic corridor that introduces travelers to historic communities and rural agriculture that Central Florida is famous for.

Located just north of Frostproof on Crooked Lake, Babson Park is the home of Webber International University. The town is slightly less than two square miles and provides great hiking opportunities to nature lovers on a Central Florida vacation. Grab a bottle of water and a tube of sunscreen before you spend some time at Crooked Lake Prairie, Crooked Lake Sandhill and the Babson Park Nature Center.

Hiking in Babson Park

Crooked Lake Prairie

Protecting two miles of Crooked Lake’s shoreline, Crooked Lake Prairie has sandy trails winding through ancient sand dunes and is home to Florida scrub-jays and gopher tortoises. Central Florida visitors can fish along the shoreline or enjoy the lake view from a short boardwalk.

Crooked Lake Sandhill

Enjoy a self-guided trail through an open, airy pine forest at Crooked Lake Sandhill. Search for wildflowers in bloom along the Lake Wales Ridge. This is one of the best remaining examples of the sandhill habitat left in Polk County, and at one point you’ll be 215-feet above sea level – that’s a big deal for Floridians.

Babson Park Nature Center

Ridge Audubon Society’s Babson Park Nature Center is a sanctuary where rare species, found only on the Lake Wales Ridge, enjoy protection and where locals and visitors may experience them. The Center’s .25 mile nature trail winds through a unique, desert-like ecosystem. The trail is open daily from dawn to dusk.

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