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Park amenities are simple at this gateway to Florida's scrub habitat. The pine flatwoods at Catfish Creek invite visitors to explore this ecosystem further. Standing at the highest point in the park, one can take in much of the threatened Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem. An interesting feature of the Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem is the small 'tub' pond.
Allen David Broussard State Park Catfish Creek
The elusive beauty of Catfish Creek beckons visitors to step away from it all and spend some time getting to know '¿ the Real Florida.'

History and Culture

Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park became a state park in November 1991. The 8,000-acre preserve is located in Polk County, Florida and adjoins Lake Kissimmee State Park to the southeast.

The Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem is one of the rarest in the world.

Lake Wales Ridge

Catfish Creek State Park lies along the rare Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem. Animal and plant species found nowhere else in the world exist in this ecosystem and within the park. The scrub habitat preserved here also represents one of Florida's oldest natural landscapes.

The gopher tortoise lives on land, digging deep burrows for its home.

Gopher Tortoise

Catfish Creek is home to a number of protected animal species including the gopher tortoise. The gopher tortoise is an ancient species that makes its home in dry, sandy habitats ideal for burrow-digging. Gopher tortoise burrows can be 40 feet long and 10 feet deep and often house many other animals, including mice, snakes, rabbits and frogs.

If sightings of spots of blue on the scrub, it might just be a Florida scrub jay.

Florida Scrub Jay

The Florida scrub jay is another threatened species that calls Catfish Creek home. The scrub jay depends on the sandy soils and low-growing vegetation of the scrub, making the preservation of this park and other such habitats important in the protection of this bird.

Bald eagles also claim the skies over Catfish Creek.

Bald Eagle

One of the stateliest residents of the park is the American Bald Eagle. Native oo North America, the bald eagle feeds on fish and other water inhabitants. Although its population is increasing, these remarkable animals are still protected by the Endangered Species Act.

 A prescribed fire lights up the sky at Catfish Creek.

Prescribed Fire

Did you know that some ecosystems need regular fire to survive? While wildfire can be scary, prescribed fires are professionally conducted and contained, and are safe and important tools for maintaining and preserving the fire-dependent ecosystems at the park.