Many of us are looking for ways to be active while also staying socially distanced from others. That’s why Sarah Phinney is starting a ‘Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails across Tampa Bay that are great places for you and your family to check out.
Take a trip Mosaic Peace River Park this weekend. This hidden gem is tucked away in a quiet community in Polk County. And, there’s more than one reason to make the drive.
Where is it?
Mosaic Peace River Park can be found in Homeland, between Bartow and Fort Meade. It’s about an hour's ride from Tampa. Put this address into your GPS before you head out: 2200 CR. 640 Bartow, Fl 33830
What is there to do?
There are hiking and horse riding trails at the roughly 500-acre park, as well as a mile boardwalk that meanders through the Peace River floodplain. Just about anyone can enjoy it, but be sure to wear shoes that don’t slip easily.
“Watch your step, especially during the summer months because there is algae growth on the boardwalk,” said Jeremy Maready, Polk County Government Communications Supervisor.
The boardwalk is a great spot to be, even with the summer humidity.
“It is all shaded on the boardwalk, not so much on the trails because they are pretty wide open,” he said.
Visitors should expect to see many different kinds of birds, plus lots of spiders and mosquitoes, but that comes with the territory of a swamp! Just make sure to bring bug spray.
“If you want to get out, get away from people, this is a great place,” said Maready. “Be around some nature and just have some fun.”
What else is there to do in the area?
Homeland Heritage Park is just about two miles from Mosaic Peace River Park. It’s Polk County’s only historical park. Visitors will find buildings from the 1800s. Most have been moved to the site, except for the schoolhouse.
The buildings are closed right now, but you can still get your steps in by taking a self-guided tour. There are numerous signs with historical information and QR codes that lead to videos about the park.
“It’s a great place to get perspective, learn about pioneer life and learn about Polk County history,” said Curtis Laubach, recreation coordinator for Polk County.
Homeland Heritage Park is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For more information, check out this Facebook page.