Where Can I Go?

Explore

 Circle B Bar Reserve, Polk's Nature Discovery Center, Panther Point Trail and Gator Creek Reserve remain closed due to flooding until further notice.

SUMICA

SUMICA_Welcome

Welcome to SUMICA

SUMICA is the largest of Polk County's Environmental Lands and an excellent place to take gorgeous nature pictures or ride your bike. Boasting an expanse of pine flatwoods, the land also supports a diversity of marshes and a picturesque oak hammock. If you climb up to the former railroad bed that runs through the SUMICA property and rises 6 feet above the landscape, you'll have a great shaded vantage point of the countryside. This 4,031-acre tract sits on the shores of Lake Weohyakapka.

Why is the name "SUMICA" in capital letters? It stands for Societe Universelle Mining Industrie, Commerce et Agriculture, a French company that had timber rights to the land. The town of SUMICA, established in 1917, thrived on lumbering and turpentine. After the pines were harvested, the town vanished in 1927, and its remnants now comprise a modern-day ghost town. A former Seaboard Air Line Railway bed runs through the property. The Polk County Environmental Lands Program and the South Florida Water Management District acquired this 4,031-acre property in February 1999 to preserve its important ecological resources and its cultural history. SUMICA is home to at least 12 species of rare plants and animals.

SUMICA

Activities

  • Hiking/Biking

    SUMICA will remain closed due to flooding until further notice.

    The hiking trail is elevated and stabilized and provides a nice bicycle ride to the observation dock at the trail's end.

    Hiking
  • Horseback Riding

    SUMICA will remain closed due to flooding until further notice.

    A designated trail for horseback riding and parking are available. Call 863-534-7377 to obtain a special-use permit.

    Horseback_Riding
  • Photography

    SUMICA will remain closed due to flooding until further notice.

    Capture beautiful landscape scenes and photos of wading birds in the enormous marsh.

    Photography
  • Primitive Camping

    SUMICA will remain closed due to flooding until further notice.

    A fire ring and designated area in the oak hammock are provided. There is no water or electricity, and you must bring your own tent. To obtain a special-use permit for this activity, call 863-534-7377.

    Camping

SUMICA

Facilities

  • Picnic

    One picnic shelter is located near the Lake Marion creek shoreline, available on a first come, first serve basis.

    SUMICA_Picnic
  • Restrooms

    Portable restrooms are available at the entrance.

    restroom
  • Parking

    Paved parking is available.

    car

SUMICA

Trails

SUMICA_Trails
  • Hiking Trail — (2.1 miles roundtrip, No Shade)

    This trail passes through open flatwoods as it approaches an old railroad bed that was established in the late 1920's. The trail heads south on this railroad bed grade, providing an elevated views of the surrounding landscape. The trail ends at the observation area.

  • Equestrian Trail — (4.8 miles roundtrip, No Shade)

    This trail veers to the north through the flatwoods and meanders through the property past a variety of natural communities, including marsh and prairie.

  • Campsite Trail — (2.2 miles roundtrip, Some Shade)

    This out and back trail passes through a shallow depression marsh and leads to the northern property boundary. This trail starts on the former railroad bed , which rises 6 feet above the landscape. It then drops down to the ground through flatwoods before ending at the campsite in the oak hammock.

SUMICA

Natural Communities

SUMICA_NaturalCommunity
  • Basin Marsh

    Covering more than 550 acres, several of these marshes provide a picturesque view of maidencane, pickerelweed, duck potato, patches of sawgrass, and button bush.

  • Baygall

    This wetland typically contains bay tree, dahoon holly and a mix of other hardwood trees.

  • Depression Marsh

    At SUMICA the scattered depression marshes cover about 500 acres total and contain mainly maidencane and pickerelweed.

  • Floodplain Swamp

    Located along Lake Walk-in-Water Creek, this habitat contains some cypress, tupelo and black gum, oaks and red maple.

  • Floodplain Marsh

    This area is located near Lake Walk-in-Water Creek and lacks the trees of the floodplain swamp community. Look for maidencane, sagittaria, pickerelweed, buttonbush and other low-growing plants that like wet soil.

  • Mesic Flatwoods

    About 40 percent of SUMICA is covered in mesic flatwoods. This community contains slash pine and longleaf pine with saw palmetto, gallberry shrubs, wiregrass and flowering plants.

  • Upland Mixed Forest

    Located near the lake's shoreline, this forest has a mixture of oaks and pines, along with a few shrubs and grasses.

  • Wet Flatwoods

    These flatwoods contain slash pine and a rare longleaf pine in the mesic flatwoods. Scattered throughout are cabbage palm and many varieties of grasses.

  • Wet Prairie

    This habitat consists of maidencane, spikrush, St. John's wort, pitcher plants and mixed herbaceous plants with no trees.

Wildlife

You may see a variety of birds, including bald eagles, sandhill cranes, wild turkeys, falcon and wading birds. Also look for deer, bobcats, fox, gopher tortoises, and some occasional bear tracks.

Squirrel

SUMICA_Squirrel

Sandhill Crane

SUMICA_SandhillCrane

Owl

SUMICA_Owl

Wildflowers

SUMICA is located in the central part of the state in eastern Polk County and consists of pine flatwoods, saw grass prairie, live oak hammock. Pine flatwoods is characterized by longleaf pine, Pinus palustris in central Florida or slash pine, Pinus elliottii in south Florida and an understory predominantly of saw palmetto, Serenoa repens. The pines are shade intolerant and require fire to maintain the system. Pine flatwoods also have a hardpan 8 to 10 feet below the surface. Flowering plants found in the system are Florida alicia, Chapmannia floridana, blazing star, Liatris spp., deer-tongue, Carphephorus paniculatus. The live oak hammock forms a canopy and is dominated by live oaks, Quercus virginiana and their epiphytes spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides, resurrection fern, Pleopeltis polypodioides and butterfly orchid, Encyclia tampensis and the terristerial plant beggerweed, Desmodium incanum. The saw grass prairie extends from the central part of the state all the way to the everglades. The dominant plant is saw grass, but cabbage palm, Sabal palmetto, hammocks may dot the landscape. When the prairie is wet one may find Sagittaria spp., and when the prairie is dry cattails may invade.

SUMICA

Location

Address

12993 FL-60
Lake Wales, FL 33898

Hours of Operation

6:00 A.M. — 6:30 P.M.  (Standard Time)
5:30 A.M. — 8:00 P.M.  (Daylight Savings Time)

Driving Directions

SUMICA is located between Lake Wales and Indian Lake Estates.

From Lake Wales:

Drive east on SR 60 for approximately 10 miles. The entrance is on the south side of the road just before SR 60 turns into a two-lane road.