Protecting 845 acres of the whitest, brightest sand on the Lake Wales Ridge, Lake June-in-Winter Scrub Preserve State Park is a passive preserve with one of the highest concentrations of rare and endemic plants in North America. A pristine snapshot of Florida’s scrub, the land is an ancient sand dune. This short nature trail follows Tomoka Run, a fern lined waterway.
Location: Lake Placid
Length: 0.3 mile interpretive trail
Lat-Long: 27.2967, -81.4207
Fees / Permits: State park entrance fee, self-pay
Bug factor: low to moderate
Watch for poison ivy along the trail.
From US 27 north of downtown Lake Placid, follow CR 621 west for 5 miles to Daffodil Road. Turn left and follow Daffodil Road until it ends. The park entrance is on the left. Drive down to the parking area to hike the nature trail, or park at the entrance gate to hike the main trail system.
From the parking area, the 0.3-mile Tomoka Run Trail leads you through an unexpectedly lush forest surrounding the burbling waters of Tomoka Run. Turn left to hike the loop clockwise. The trail quickly descends from oak scrub into a hardwood hammock and encounters a bayhead of loblolly bay and cinnamon ferns soaking up the precious moisture. Sunlight dapples across the tea-colored flow of Tomoka Run as it bubbles over ledges on its rapid decent to the lake. The trail crosses the run two more times before you reach the end of the loop.