Anhingas. Egrets. Alligators. You'll see them all on this spectacular hike through a ranch-turned-preserve near the shores of Lake Hancock and just outside of the Lakeland city limits. Circle B Bar Reserve, renowned throughout Florida for its spectacular photo opportunities, attracts flocks of hikers every day to see the wildlife on its trails. The hike begins in a hammock with huge live oaks, before following the shore of Lake Hancock, where alligators shuffle into the water to the left and right. The hike then passes through wetlands where wading birds are in abundance (as well as more alligators) before passing an old windmill and returning to the trailhead. This hike occurred on Saturday, July 2nd, 2016. My plan was to make an outer loop through Circle B Bar Reserve's Trail System, as follows. First, I would take the Shady Oak Trail to Lake Hancock, where I would follow the Alligator Alley Trail past a lake observation area and along the shores of the lake. Then, after leaving the lake, I would take the Eagle Roost Trail along the southwest boundary of the preserve. There, I accidentally did the out and back along the Circle B Bar Connector Trail, although I didn't regret it. Lastly, I would take the Wading Bird Way to the Windmill Whisper Trail, before using the Treefrog Trail to finish the hike.
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