Tiger Creek Preserve
Length: 8.3 mile linear/loop
Tiger Creek Preserve is located east of US 27 between Babson Park and Frostproof. The trail traverses the rolling hills of the Lake Wales Ridge, including some of the highest hills and oldest land in the Florida peninsula. Botanical diversity is extensive along this trail.
Tiger Creek Preserve encompasses over 4,500 acres. It is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. Its name originates from the blackwater stream which crosses the preserve.
The diversity of hardwood swamps, hammocks, sandhill and oak scrub, and flatwoods habitats provide a home for many of the state’s rarest species, including the scrub lizard, scrub jay, pygmy tree, and the Florida bonamia. The trail traverses some slight elevations illustrating the xeric white sandhill landscape of the Lake Wales Ridge and one bridged creek crossing leading to the short Sand Pine Loop (aka the Patrick Creek Loop), an adventurous walk through a dense hammock with tall ferns. Tiger Creek Preserve Photo: (Sandra Friend)
The main portion of the trail is signposted as the Pfundstein Trail at the trailhead and as the Highland Loop for the loop portion in the high scrub. This portion of the trail best illustrates the desert-like scrub of the Lake Wales Ridge, some of the most ancient land in Florida. The trail makes many sudden twists and turns on and off of jeep roads, so be alert and follow the blazes.
This trail was built in the western portion of the preserve by the Florida Trail Association at the invitation of the owner, The Nature Conservancy. There are two additional trails in other parts of the preserve.