The OLLI-USF Outdoors “hikers” explored one of their favorite places, Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, on a beautiful day in March. We would like to share it in words, but mostly pictures, with OLLI Connects readers.
If you are looking for a great place to take your out-of-town visitors, or just go for a stroll to take in amazing wildlife, this is the place to go. One of our members, Sheryl, wrote, “With the exception of the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel, Circle B Bar had the biggest variety of wildlife I’ve seen of all my hikes in Florida.”
What will you see? In many places you will see birds on the left, birds on the right. You might see a great blue heron and gator face off.
Birds walk right up to us and keep “in step.” Huge (and we do mean huge) alligators eye us suspiciously from beside the trail. And often walk right in front of us. Wildlife is magical and multi-colored – reds, blues, violets and greens – often in the same species like the Painted Bunting.
You will easily see all kinds of herons and egrets, bald eagles, egrets, raccoons, gators, gallinules, songbirds and more.
Trails are between .2 and 1 mile, well-marked and descriptively named.
Wildlife evidently do not read the signs! We saw Bald Eagles on Marsh Rabbit Run, herons on Eagles Roost, alligators on Wading Bird Way, and herons, egrets, racoons, and snakes on Alligator Alley!
Words alone don’t do justice to this place, so we hope you are delighted with the photos in the slide shows that our OLLI Connects editors made for us.
Thank you for viewing!
Our feathered friends: waders and high flyers
Scenic and group photos
Photographers: Bridget Harris, Mike Hayes, Nancy Shivers, Pat Simmons, Donna McGrew, Larry Weatherby, Diane White, Nancy Wisgerhof, Zoe Trautman
About: The OLLI-USF Outdoors is a shared interest group (SIG) who enjoy the outdoors and have many talents and interests, including photography, bird watching, biking, and sharing. For information about OLLI Outdoors, email the SIG leaders.
- “We had a TERRIFIC time” – Pat and Mike
- “With the exception of the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel, Circle B Bar had the biggest variety of wildlife I’ve seen of all my hikes in Florida.” – Sheryl
- “Thanks for setting up the hike to Circle B Bar – it was everything and more than people said it would be. As I was leaving the parking lot, I saw three Kites fly over – beautiful! I had a great time!” – Zoe
- “It was fun!” – Nancy
If you visit: Well worth the drive, Circle B Bar Reserve is on the northwest shore of Lake Hancock. The reserve boasts a wide variety of plants and animals. You can see several distinct ecosystems in this reserve of 1,267 acres. Entrance and parking are free. Take time to tour the Discovery Center and gift shop too.
Diane White, MA, PMP, earned advanced degrees in information technologies from George Washington University and education from USF. She has been managing projects for over 25 years in the information technology and telecommunications industries. She joined OLLI-USF in 2008 and has taken OLLI courses in art, art appreciation, architecture, music, great books, science, nature, literature, and leadership. She is a member of OLI’s Tech Squad, teaches a variety of technology courses, She is an OLLI Roll of Honor Instructor and is OLLI Connects’ technology contributor and consultant.