T134. Lake Wailes Park/Lake Wailes Trail

Image of T134. Lake Wailes Park/Lake Wailes Trail

SiteID: E134 (E97 old)

Region: East

County: Polk

Nearest City: Lake Wales

Phone Number: 863-678-4182

Website: T134. Lake Wailes Park/Lake Wailes Trail

Features/Amenities: Good for beginners, Birding by foot/hiking, Best time of day: Morning, Recommended length of visit: quick stop

Habitats: Field/Pasture, Lake/Pond/Impoundment


Lake Wailes Park is worth a quick stop if you’re in the Lake Wales area. Drive to the northwest corner of the lake and park your car. Bird the oaks for migrants in season including Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a variety of warblers. Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds frequent the lake’s edge. Set your spotting scope up along the shore to scan for waders (like Least Bitterns and White Ibises), plus Anhingas, Sandhill Cranes and overwintering duck species. Common Loons are sometimes sighted here in winter. The Lake Wailes Trail, a 2.5-mile, lighted and paved hike/bike path, leads around the lake clockwise from the south side (at S. Lake Shore Blvd. and Marietta St.) to Kiwanis Park (restrooms) on the northeast corner (at N. Lake Shore Blvd. and Cephia St.). Walk the trail for more extensive looks at birds on, and around, the lake. A fishing pier is located on the lake’s west side, and a boat ramp is provided on the north side for aquatic viewing opportunities.

Directions: From the intersection of US 27/SR 25 and SR 60 in Lake Wales, go north on US 27 for 0.2 mi. to Central Ave. Turn right (east) and follow Central Ave. for 1.1 mi. until it dead ends at N. Lake Shore Blvd. Next, turn left (north) and go 0.1 mi. to the first parking area located on the northwest side of the lake. Two additional parking areas, one each on the north and northeast sides, can also be accessed by continuing northeast on N. Lake Shore Blvd. Alternatively, you may turn right (south) from Central Blvd. onto S. Lake Shore Blvd.; proceed 0.3 mi. to the parking area on the southwest corner of the lake.

Google Map

Open all year, 6 AM to 10 PM.

Location: 27.902588, -81.581024