3 Ways to Enjoy Lake Hancock
in Bartow, FL

When you’re in the Highland City area this summer and need a chance to cool off from the heat, definitely look no further than Lake Hancock! There is plenty to do at the lake with your family. Here are some fun activities.

Walk The Circle B Bar Reserve

Walk The Circle B Bar Reserve

While you’re in the area, make the most of your time by checking out the Circle B Bar Reserve, which is southeast of Lakeland and near to Lake Hancock. This reserve has been set aside primarily to protect the floodplain area around Lake Hancock. In a program initiated by the Polk County Environmental Lands Program, the Banana Creek Marsh system has been rejuvenated and restoration is taking place to increase the use of the land.

Due to the program’s efforts, hiking along the unpaved paths is a brilliant experience. You can also check out the paths and trails that have been set for biking.

Enjoy A Picnic

For a simple yet fun daytime activity, take the family for a picnic by the lake or surrounding natural areas. There are plenty of picnic facilities. While you’re there, enjoy the beautiful region that includes vibrant cypress forests with red maple and black willow trees. While you scan the water you can look for the hydrilla and algae in the area.

If you love learning about new birds and species, you will enjoy the extensive bird population at the lake. You can see eagles, ospreys, waterfowl, and wading birds, too! Just be aware that there’s an alligator presence in the area, so be mindful of where you’re walking and visiting. While recreational fishing might not be an option, you can always book a trip through a larger fishing establishment.

Visit Polk’s Nature Discovery Center

Your visit to this region isn’t complete without checking out the local nature center called Polk’s Nature Discovery Center. It has been open since 2008 and functions as a free information station to people visiting Circle B Bar Reserve. There are exciting upcoming events at the center, such as “Dirt Day,” sponsored by the Florida Master Gardener program and Friends of the Parks. You’ll enjoy the hands-on exhibits that teach about the environment of the nearby area.

For example, kids can learn about the wetlands and the animals that thrive there, or check out the official “Lakes” exhibit that teaches about the dangers of pollution, the beauty of natural water, and the plants and fish there. At the “Land Through Time Theater,” your family can watch videos about Florida’s natural history. There is also an “Exploration Lab,” where you can learn all about the rain, birds, and plants. There is much more to be seen and experienced at the center, so don’t miss out!

When you’re in the Lake Hancock area this summer, don’t forget to stop by for a picnic and to learn all about the beautiful region. There is lots to see and experience in the area, so come for a relaxing day and a unique educational experience!