This region, called the Lake Wales Ridge, was an island in ancient times. When the sea receded, the white sand of the shore remained. Plants that thrive here today have adapted to catch and hold rainwater, which quickly percolates through the porous sand. Trees and shrubs have a stunted appearance, and thick, leathery leaves. Even prickly-pear cactus grows here. When settlers arrived here they called these sites scrubs. This land was acquired by the state of Florida in 1995.
Several tannic or blackwater creeks flow through the bayhead communities of Lake June-in-Winter Scrub State Park. Here shady bay trees and ferns are surrounded by cool shade and the gurgling of this spring-fed creek. This is an excellent spot for bird watching.
Lake June-in-Winter Scrub State Park is home to many imperiled plant and animal species, including the Florida scrub jay. This bright blue gregarious bird lives in cooperative groups among the white sands and stunted oaks of the scrub forests. Several families of jays call this park home, providing excellent opportunities to view this endangered species.
Tannic creeks bubble up from underground springs within the park property. Surrounding the creeks are lush ferns, bay trees, wild azaleas and other shade loving plants. The dark water receives its lovely color from dissolved nutrients.
Florida scrub jays call the park home. Several families thrive in the harsh, sandy environment. Notice the bands on the bird's feet. The scrub jays are part of an ecosystem-wide monitoring program to ensure that this species will continue to thrive in the future.
Lake June-in-Winter consists of 3,500 acres of recreational heaven. Anglers enjoy excellent fishing, while boaters enjoy easy access from several public boat ramps located on various sections of the shoreline outside the park. There is currently no water access at the park, but canoes may be launched by hand.