No matter the season, Colt Creek State Park in Lakeland offers activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing and more for outdoor enthusiasts on vacation in Central Florida.
Central Florida's Green Swamp Wilderness Area
Colt Creek State Park covers a total of 5,067-acres and is centered in the heart of Central Florida's Green Swamp Wilderness Area just north of the Withlacoochee River. Visitors can hike or horseback ride on more than 12-miles of marked that meander through and around several of the park's natural communities, including pine flatwoods, cypress domes and hardwood hammocks.
A portion of the trail skirts the edge of pastureland, providing scenic vistas. This Central Florida State Park is home to three creek systems, three man-made lakes and many animal species including the American bald eagle, Sherman's fox squirrel, gopher tortoise, white-tailed deer, wild turkey and bobcat.
Camping at Colt Creek State Park
Do you want to camp during your Central Florida vacation? Two primitive camps are located at different locations along the Flatwoods trail of Colt Creek State Park. These camps are only accessible by foot, horseback or mountain bike as they are two miles from the parking area. The campsites are pack in/pack out tent camps and do not have water, electricity or restrooms. A primitive group site is also available for organized groups, accommodating up to 60 people.
Other State Parks in Central Florida
Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park
Located along the beautiful Lake Wales Ridge, Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park, covers more than 8,000-acres of scrub, sandhill and flatwoods land. The preserve offers 6-miles of hiking trails, 7-miles of equestrian trails and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. The preserve is home to numerous rare plants, such as scrub morning glory, scrub plum, pygmy fringe tree and cutthroat grass. Several protected animal species including Florida scrub-jays, bald eagles, gopher tortoises and Florida scrub lizards.
When you visit the preserve make sure you are prepared for rugged conditions typical of the scrub habitat. The Lake Wales Ridge Scrub is a landscape unlike any other which features tall, steep ridges of sugar sand the color of sparkling fresh snow, with ascents and descents so steep you'd think you were traversing ski slopes along the trail system. The trails are deep in soft sand, broad like roads, and have little to no shade. (Bring your Camelback!) The incredible sweeping views from atop the ridges are will worth the physical challenges of reaching the summit.
Lake Kissimmee State Park
Lake Kissimmee State Park is located on the shores of lakes Kissimmee, Tiger and Rosalie, covers 5,930-acres and is a popular spot for campers enjoying a Central Florida vacation. The park has 12 distinct natural communities including floodplain marshes, flatwoods and shady hammocks, which hold more than 30 listed species of flora and fauna. The park is home to butterfly orchids, sawgrass, fetterbush, gallberry and expansive, colorful fields of lotus and pickerelweed.
Lake Kissimmee State Park also hosts more than 200-species of birds, making it one of the best birding areas in Central Florida. Scrub-jay, American bald eagle, snail kite, sandhill crane and the crested caracara are some of the most popular resident bird species found in the park.
Lake Kissimmee State Park offers 13-miles of hiking trails and 6-miles of of equestrian trails which showcase white-tailed deer, bobcat, turkey, Sherman's fox squirrel and grey fox. You may take your pick from a half-mile, self-guided nature trail, two loop trails, and a spur trail out to the lake.
The park offers RV campsites, tent campsites, and primitive camping.