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Lake Wales, Florida

Hike the Buster Island Loop

6.7 Miles Total - Loop Trail

Originally added by John Maurizi

If you only have one day to hike is Lake Kissimmee State Park, this is the you must do. While mostly flat, the trail offers a great diversity in scenery and wild life. 

The Buster Island Loop hike is the longest hike in the park at 6.7 miles. It is completely flat and easy hike that goes through a varied landscape. The trail starts from the north side of the parking lot (only one parking area). Follow the blue connector trail a short way to a road. Here you will see a sign for the Buster Island trail to the left. Follow the road over a canal where the road then turns to sand. The trail is marked with white blazes. Follow this road to an open field. The road ends here at a kiosk. Follow the trail on the right into the forest for a short distance where you arrive at the loop split. The decision on which way to hike the loop could be made based on time of day. Hiking the loop clockwise (to the left) takes you through open fields with full exposure to the sun for the first third of the route. If hiking this way, an early morning start would be perfect. To the right, the trail enters a forest with a good amount of shade. That direction would be better for a late afternoon hike.

I chose to hike clockwise. The trail travels through three
different types of landscape. The first third is through open fields. The second third of the trail travels through beautiful sections of large oaks covered with Spanish Moss. Finally, the last third travels into an open forest that skirts the open field you passed through earlier.

An interesting experience while hiking this trail, I noticed this strange butterfly fluttering along the trail. It was strange looking and seemed to have trouble keeping flight. The butterfly landed on a stem of a plant just off the trail. It is then that I noticed it was actually two butterflies linked together! I'm not a butterfly expert but being that it was spring, my guess is they were in the act of procreating! I love nature.

This is a great trail to experience the diversity of the park. 

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Scenic
Wildlife

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