Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park is conveniently located south of Orlando, Florida about 35 miles and is home to some very rare and special species of plants and animals. From the rare and beautiful scrub morning glory to the endangered and dangerous Florida panther, this park is a treasure trove of wildlife and forests.
With over 8,000 acres of prime scrub, sand hill, flatwoods and submerged lands, its no wonder so many animals call this gorgeous forest home. And with over six miles of hiking trails and seven miles of equestrian trails, you’re sure to spot some of the unique animals that call Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park home.
The hiking trails in this area are typical of many Florida forests. Filled with scrub forests, white sugar sands and pine trees, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. This challenging hike is located along the Lake Wales Ridge, one of the hillier parts of the eastern half of Florida.
As I hiked the trails one fine morning, I was lucky enough to see several gopher tortoises and a scrub jay, but the elusive Florida panther was nowhere to be found (thankfully). I did happen along a pygmy fringe tree and some cutthroat grass, another Florida rarity and a unique species of tree and grasses found within the park.
A covered picnic pavilion is available, but there are no restrooms in this relatively undeveloped Florida state park. The only real amenity that Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park has is fishing from one of its many ponds. While I didn’t try my luck that day, it did appear that some fish (catfish?) were active in the pond I visited about a mile from the parking area.
Getting to Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park is easy. Just take US 27 past Orlando about 35 miles, then turn east on CR 542 and go to the end of fire tower road. For more information on this Florida Park, visit the website here.