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Crooked Lake Sandhill

Short hiking trail in Babson Park is home to sand skinks, gopher tortoises and eastern indigo snakes.

Crooked Lake Sandhill is a 25-acre property and home to four rare animals (sand skinks, gopher tortoises, eastern indigo snakes and scrub lizards), and the distinctive yellow-sand soils contain many endangered and threatened plant species.

Crooked Lake Sandhill
Stay up to date with our facebook! Give us a like.You’ll be sure to enjoy the self-guided trail through a magnificent savanna and an open, airy, pine forest that makes up the endangered sandhill ecosystem. At one point you’re 215 feet above sea level with a spectacular view of Crooked Lake, and at another you’ve dropped off steeply into the depression of an old sinkhole. You can almost always find wildflowers in bloom, with fall being the most colorful time of year.
Owned and managed by Polk County through their Environmental Lands Program, this site was acquired in January 1999 as one of several natural areas purchased to protect important habitat within Polk County. Crooked Lake Sandhill is one of the best remaining examples of the sandhill ecosystem in Polk County. At only 25 acres, this site shelters an impressive number of rare species. The property appears to have escaped logging and is considered “old growth,” with some trees thought to be 200 years old.
The 0.8-mile self-guided trail contains numbered stations to help you learn more about Crooked Lake Sandhill. Many old-growth longleaf pines contribute to the beauty and historic value of the site. The understory contains abundant native grasses and is home to many endangered and threatened plant species. Elevation of the trail ranges from 165 to 215 feet above sea level, providing a treat from the typical flat Florida landscape.


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