Bartow is a perfect place for a leisurely hike. It’s also the right place for serious nature lovers. At the 460-acre Mosaic Peace River Park, you can take a walk on a wooden boardwalk through century-old cypress trees, majestic oaks and pines. Experience the sites and sounds of nature as you head toward the river bank. Birds and wildlife abound in this pristine setting. This park is also a great place for horseback riding.
Another area popular with nature lovers is the Circle B Bar Reserve. This 1,275-acre preserve provides the only public access to Lake Hancock, Polk’s fourth-largest lake. From the site entrance on Winter Lake Road east of U.S. 98, it is a leisurely 1.25 mile walk to the shoreline of lake through an oak hammock and a former pasture. A side trail also runs through a marsh where numerous wading birds, waterfowl and bald eagles are likely to be seen. Near the lakeside, beautiful and stately cabbage palms dot the landscape. The trail continues in the shade of cypress, hackberry and red maples growing along the edge of Lake Hancock. As the trail eventually opens up, visitors have a view across the historic Banana Creek marsh system. A trail is now being constructed for visitors to walk the lake. The new trail will be available in 2016.
The City of Bartow has more than 17 park areas within the City limits. For a complete listing, click here.