Gator Creek Reserve remains closed due to flooding until further notice.
Peace River Hammock is a beautiful part of the Peace River Corridor of conservation lands that border the meandering Peace River. During your visit, you'll have the opportunity to admire a small section of the spring and the rain-nourished blackwater river that begins in north Polk County and flows more than 100 miles south through seven other counties before ending in the Charlotte Harbor Estuary.
This 42-acre property was purchased in 1998 by Polk County and the Florida Communities Trust Program. Polk County manages the site. Part of the Peace River Trail runs through land managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency's Bureau of Mine Reclamation. The previous owners left the site fairly natural.
Flooding is expected at Peace River Hammock during the rainy season (late summer and early fall), so hiking is seasonal. Be prepared to encounter mosquitoes while hiking.
From the parking area, visitors may hike a ¾-mile trail that wanders through the hammock. The trees provide a great deal of shade, and at the end of the trail, you'll overlook the Peace River itself.
Stabilized parking area is available.
No restrooms are currently available.
This trail passes through a floodplain swamp and under a shady canopy of large oaks and palms. During the rainy season, the trail will be underwater, and mosquitoes will be present. The reward for completing this trail is reaching the bank of the beautiful Peace River. At the rivers edge there is a spot designated as a canoe stopover for paddlers enjoying a trek down the Peace River. There is no canoe launch at this site, just a canoe stopover.
This wetland community is the home of Florida's state tree, the Sabal palmetto, also known as the cabbage palm. Although the cabbage palm can live in just about any soil, it thrives along rivers and in swamps—so you'll see plenty of it along the Peace River. The overstory at Peace River Hammock consists mostly of large oaks, hickories and cabbage palms, which form a peaceful, shady archway for your hike. Floodplain swamps play a crucial role in flood protection and improving water quality by retaining excess rainwater and preventing erosion along the Peace River.
In addition to alligators and turtles, look for wading birds, limpkins, red-shouldered hawks, kingfishers, and great horned owls.
The river swamps are composed of hydric hammock and floodplain swamp that border the river and is composed of conifers, bald cypress, Taxodium distichum and hardwoods, black gum, Nyssa sylvatica, red maple, Acer rubrum and water oak, Quercus nigra.
Mt. Pisgah Rd.
Fort Meade, FL 33841
6:00 A.M. — 6:30 P.M. (Standard Time)
5:30 A.M. — 8:00 P.M. (Daylight Savings Time)
Peace River Hammock is located south of Fort Meade.
From Fort Meade:
Travel south on US Hwy 17 to Berquist Road and turn left (west). Continue on Berquist Road until it deadends. Turn right (southeast) onto Mt. Pisgah Road and go approximately one mile. The parking area is on the right (west) just before Dishong Road.