As steep and soft as a ski slope in places, these elevated slivers of blinding white sand are some of Florida’s most ancient hills. A memorial to a young man who loved and studied the unusual flora found here on the Lake Wales Ridge, Allan Broussard Catfish Creek State Park protects more than 8,000 acres of scrub habitat along Catfish Creek, with amazing views from the tops of each ridge.
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Leashed pets welcome
From US 27 in Dundee, follow CR 542 east to Hatchineha Road. Turn right and continue 8 miles to Firetower Road. Turn right. Continue 3 miles. The park trailhead is on the left before the FFA Leadership Camp entrance. If you reach their gate, turn around and come back, since Firetower Road dead-ends at the camp.
If you’re not on horseback, hiking poles are a must as you traverse each hill, with deep swales between the creases home to long, slender prairie lakes. Florida scrub-jays squawk in the oaks, and sandhill cranes browse through open grasslands.
More than twenty endangered plant species grow here, including scrub plum, scrub morning glory, and pygmy fringe trees. Explore the preserve by hiking, riding your horse, or fishing in the prairie ponds. This park is well off the beaten path but adjoins the FFA Leadership Training Center along Firetower Road near Haines City.
Explore the park
- Catfish Creek Preserve Trails- Allan David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park isn’t just “a perfect example of Lake Wales Ridge Scrub,” it’s a landscape unlike any other you’ll find in Florida.