Protecting 845 acres of the whitest, brightest sand on the Lake Wales Ridge, Lake June-in-Winter Scrub State Park has one of the highest concentrations of rare plants in North America. Many of them are only found in this preserve or along the Lake Wales Ridge, the highest land in Florida’s peninsula, an ancient ridge of sand dunes when the rest of Florida was beneath the sea.
Location: Lake Placid
Fees: $2 per vehicle
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Pets discouraged due to scrub-jay population
Rare animals thrive here too, including the Florida scrub-jay and the Florida scrub lizard, which “swims” beneath the surface of the soft sand.
This is a place to explore carefully and look at the little things. The short Tomoka Trail follows a tannic fern-like stream that flows downhill into Lake June-in-Winter, but it’s just a teaser for the bigger preserve.
The Bobcat Trail, which is no longer well maintained, starts near the park gate. Pack plenty of water for this walk into Florida’s own desert, where shrunken versions of Florida trees thrive, like scrub hickory, scrub plum, and the pygmy fringe tree. Take plenty of photos or carry a field guide to understand the complexity of the beauty you see here in miniature.
Explore the park
- Bobcat Trail - The Bobcat Trail at Lake June-in-Winter State Park leads to a 3.3 mile trail system atop snow-white ancient dunes on the Lake Wales Ridge, where rare and unusual plants thrive
- Tomoka Trail - Lake June-in-Winter Scrub State Park is a pristine snapshot of Florida’s scrub atop the Lake Wales Ridge. This short nature trail follows Tomoka Run, a fern lined waterway