Protecting 845 acres of the Lake Wales Ridge, Lake June-in-Winter Scrub Preserve State Park has one of the highest concentrations of rare and endemic plants in North America.
The trailhead of the park is in a less sensitive habitat, where a tannic run rises from a bayhead swamp and flows towards the lake.
The quarter-mile Tomoka Trail is a nature trail that leads you into this well-shaded and often soggy habitat.
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Length: 0.3 mile loop
Trailhead: 27.29677, -81.42013
Address: 630 Daffodil St, Lake Placid
Fees: $2 per vehicle
Restroom: vault toilet
Land manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM to sunset. Disturbing or removing plants and the use of drones prohibited. Leashed pets permitted.
A sheltered picnic table adjoins the trailhead. Kayaks or canoes can be hand-launched at the bottom of this hill along a marshy shoreline.
From downtown Lake Placid at the intersection of US 27 and CR 621, drive north on US 27 for 1.5 miles, passing the tall former observation tower, and make a left on Lake June Rd. Continue 4 miles west along this road. Make a left on Daffodil St at the lakeshore. Continue south 2 miles to the preserve entrance.
Start your hike at the Tomoka Run Trail sign and turn right. Take the left fork, which descends from an oak scrub into a hardwood hammock.
A bayhead of loblolly bay trees with a forest floor of cinnamon ferns soak 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.
Crossing a bridge, the trail rises up a steep hill towards the scrub, and turns to the right past a bench to follow the run. The burbling waters echo through the forest.
Crossing back over the run, the trail turns left and heads upstream through an oak hammock.
Pause a moment to savor this leafy green grotto, where the ribbon of tannic orange water slices through the soft sand of the ridge.
Making a sharp right, the trail continues uphill into an oak scrub under the slash pines.
At the T intersection, turn right, walking under the Spanish moss-draped scrub live oaks past a bench.
Descending downhill, you reach the end of the loop at 0.3 mile. Turn left to return to the parking lot.
Learn more about Lake June-in-Winter Scrub Preserve
See our photos from Lake June-in-Winter Scrub Preserve
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