Free, near city areas, boasting boardwalks, and having a visitor center Circle B Bar Reserve is a great way to enjoy nature and get your workout on without bursting your budget.
It is located at 4399 Winter Lake Road near Lakeland Florida in Central Florida. As of October 1 the park was open from sunrise to sunset and the visitor center was open from 9 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 pm on Sunday. The visitor center provide free maps and interactive exhibits of local plants and animals. Just outside the visitor center are several picnic areas for lunch. Please note as of October 1, 2013 there was no food for sale onsite. There are several trail to choose from.
The Alligator Alley is one of my favorites. it takes you along the lake and to a boardwalk where you can see birds and sometimes alligators in the water. You then go around a forested area so you can enjoy a variety of birds, plants, and rivers. it connects to several other trails. Several of the trails are predominantly shaded. There are a few trails that are all sun such as Eagle's Roost Trail which connects to a city trail. This trail is great for bikes because between the trail itself and connect trails you can go for miles and miles. The other trails on-site are much shorter, less flat, more narrow, and much more appropriate for hiking. They also have more loop backs to the parking lot and visitor center in case you get tired.