Atop Florida’s most ancient of landscapes, the Lake Wales Ridge, the Audubon Center at Babson Park has a mission of interpreting the uniqueness of the plants and animals that call this island of biodiversity home. The family-friendly Caloosa Nature Trail provides an interpretive walk around the center, identifying plants that you may have never otherwise encountered on a hike.
Location: Babson Park
Length: 0.3 mile
Lat-Long: 27.841383, -81.533717
Fees / Permits: free
Bug factor: low
The trail is open dawn to dusk. A trail guide with map is available at the trail kiosk. This is a stop along the Great Florida Birding Trail.
Babson Park Audubon Center, Ridge Audubon Society (863-638-1355), SR 17, Babson Park
The center is along SR 17 between US 27 and Babson Park, at the intersection of SR 17 and Crooked Lake Rd.
Starting in front of the nature center, this short loop trail has 26 interpretive stations that identify key plants of the Lake Wales Ridge, a narrow string of ancient islands topped with rare and unusual species like the scrub hickory and scrub plum. Look for these and others as you rise up from scrub habitat into the sandhills and back down again. The identification markers and interpretive brochure let you put a face on rare native plants that you might have only heard of before, like garberia and Britton’s beargrass.