(Last Updated On: November 28, 2022)

The shoreline of Mac Lake in Colt Creek State Park

Nestled within Florida’s Green Swamp Wilderness Area, Colt Creek State Park is the perfect place to visit for those who want to rest and relax in nature.

Situated roughly halfway between Orlando and Tampa, the park is renowned for its stunning landscape that includes a patchwork of rivers, forests, lakes and creeks that harmoniously intertwine.

This makes it the perfect outdoor recreational playground for those who enjoy pursuits like boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and wildlife watching.

However, as it boasts over 15 miles of trails, the park is arguably best discovered by hiking, mountain biking or horse riding through its diverse terrain.

Despite only opening in 2006, Colt Creek State Park has quickly established itself as one of the most popular destinations within Florida’s state park system. As a result it runs a well maintained campground that provides plenty of options for those looking for overnight accommodation.

This includes a number of modern campsites for RVs, trailers and tents that come with electrical hookups and a good selection of amenities. It also encompasses equestrian and more primitive campsites too.

Activities

During their time at Colt Creek State Park, visitors can enjoy a wide selection of outdoor recreational pursuits.
Here are some of the main activities you can do whilst you are there.

Boating at Colt Creek State Park

With not one, but two lakes at their disposal, the likes of canoeing, kayaking and jon boating are all popular activities at the park.

Between them, Mac Lake and Middle Lake provide perfect conditions for boating and paddling on their picturesque waters.

If you do not have any of these watercraft with you, they can be rented from the park’s ranger station.

To help you get into the water, there is also a boat ramp launch available.

Fishing at Colt Creek State Park

As well as being ideal for watercraft, these lakes provide fantastic fishing conditions. So you will definitely want to bring your rod and reels with you.

Many anglers head to Mac Lake, where there is an ADA accessible fishing dock. Others go to Middle Lake for its stunning scenery.

Wherever you decide to fish from, you should be able to catch plenty of bream, catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill and shell cracker.

Depending on the type of fishing you want to do you might require a licence. So it is worth contacting the park’s main office for clarification.

Trails at Colt Creek State Park

The best way to explore the park is via its trails. Overall there are more than 15 miles of trails available for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

Featuring a mostly hard-packed grassy terrain these trails vary in length and degrees of difficulty. Collectively, they take you on a spectacular tour of its pastureland, forests and rivers.

Here are some of the most popular trails at Colt Creek State Park:

  • MacLake Nature Trail – Length: 0.6 miles. Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • Yellow Trail – Length: 8.9 miles. Degree of Difficulty: moderate
  • Orange Trail – Length: 11.7 miles. Degree of Difficulty: challenging

Nature & Wildlife

If you are into wildlife watching you will love the opportunities the park provides for you.

Throughout its diverse landscape you can see a wide range of animals including the likes of alligators, white-tailed deer, fox, squirrel and lots of different butterflies.

Depending on what time of the year you visit the park, you might also spot a host of different bird species as well.

Overall, 150 species reside here throughout all, or at some part of the year. This includes the likes of swallow-tailed kite, meadow lark, American kestrel, eastern bluebird, red-tailed hawk, black-bellied whistling duck, bald eagle and swallow-tailed kite. All of which you should have a good chance of seeing.

Pets at Colt Creek State Park

Pets are welcome at the park, although only in specifically designated areas.

If you plan on bringing your pooch along with you, it is a good idea to contact the main office to clarify what restrictions are imposed on the presence of dogs.

Camping at Colt Creek State Park

For those who want to stay overnight at the Colt Creek State Park there are a plethora of options available at their campground.

This includes 24 sites for tents, trailers and RVs that come with hookups for water and either 30-amp or 50-amp electricity. In addition, six tent-only sites that have the same facility.

The RV sites are a mix of pull-through and back-in and can host vehicles that are between 68 and 93 feet long. A couple of these sites are ADA accessible.

All of these sites come with their own picnic table, as well as a grill with a fire pit. They are also located near comfort stations that have flushing toilets and showers.

As well as these camping options there are also a number of alternative types of accommodation available.

This includes an equestrian campground as well as primitive backpacking campsites, which can only be reached by hiking, biking or horseback.

The equestrian campground provides a portable toilet, water, fire pit, horse trough and a mounting block. The back-in sites do not have water, restrooms or electricity and require you to carry everything you need.

For organized groups of up to 60 people, group primitive camping is also available. Located in an old oak hammock, it features lots of shade. Like with the backpacking sites, it provides picnic tables, a fire ring and portable campsite.

Park Location

Colt Creek State Park
16000 State Rte 471
Lakeland, FL 33809
Phone: 863.815.6761

Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Colt Creek State Park: