Circle B Bar Reserve is an interesting nature reserve of almost 1400 acres, located in Central Florida near Lakeland FL.  This makes it an easy day trip from either Orlando or Tampa.  Circle B Bar is called that because it was formerly a working cattle ranch, but now houses a reserve that’s recognized by USA Today Travel as one of the 51 great places to visit for wildlife viewing (

There are six miles of clearly marked trails throughout Circle B Bar, winding through Banana Creek marsh system and along the edges of Lake Hancock.  The trail along Lake Hancock is known as Alligator Alley is a 2.5 mile round trip, on a somewhat narrow trail lined by Cypress trees and fresh water marsh along the length of the trail.  The other trails in the system form two large square hikes around the marshes surrounding Banana Creek.  In addition to frequent alligator sightings, Circle B Bar is a great place to see herons, egrets, ospreys, and a variety of other water fowl.  We’ve also seen several wild hogs walking through the park area.