Thursday, January 23, 2020

Creek Bluffs Loop, Tiger Creek Preserve, Lake Wales, Florida, January 19, 2020

Distance: 2.8 miles (lollipop loop)

Location: The trailhead is located at the end of Wakeford Rd in Lake Wales (8373 Wakeford Road is listed as the address on the webpage). There is no fee to park.

Hiked with Rich.  We were in the area and decided to do a short hike before heading home.  We chose the Creek Bluffs Loop because the website description promised lush river landscape and high bluffs.

Small parking lot.

We parked the car in the near-empty lot and walked through an opening in the fence that continues on a very sandy road.

Deep sugar sand is tough to walk in.  There are several areas on this hike where the route puts you on the silky white stuff (the one drawback of the hike IMO). 

Follow the signs.

The trail leading to the "loop" part of this hike is blazed in white.

First part of the hike 

Very quickly the trail leads you into lush Florida river terrain thick with palmettos.

Slopes down and around.

Pink-blazed Creek Bluffs Loop (the circle portion of the hike) is well marked with many twists and turns but we found it easy to follow.  

Start of the pink-blazed loop.

Headed to the creek and bluffs.

We stopped and sat on a bench just about the time the SpaceX rocket was launched. It was the perfect viewpoint but the clouds prevented us from seeing it.

There are many benches on the bluffs overlooking the river.

The trail eventually crosses a sandy road and leads into pine scrub. There are a few small ups and downs here but for the most part it's in the open and not as appealing as the trail creekside.  This part of the trail is a little more than a mile so we were back at the beginning of the loop in no time.

Unless you want to make a long day of it, stay on Creek Bluffs.

The way back to the car.

After a lunch of barbecue in Lake Wales, we headed home.

The Creek Bluffs Loop is a nice little hike if you are out this way and have an hour to kill.