Saddle Creek Park

Saddle Creek Park is 740 acres of mined phosphate land, which left behind a series of phosphate pits east of Lakeland off U.S. Route 92 in Polk County.

About Saddle Creek Park

Situated by Lakeland in Polk County, Florida is Saddle Creek Park and equal distance to Winter Haven Fl. Managed and maintained by Polk County Park Services, also supported by local FWC officers.

Polk County, Florida, is about halfway between Orlando and Tampa Bay. The park provides convenient family outings, shooting, picnics, boating, RV’ing, and fishing. 

It is an excellent place for a quick break, to visit or stay while RVing. Great place to spend time with family doing outdoor activities. 

Saddle Creek is one of the largest county parks in Central Florida. It has facilities for all the family, whether you want to cruise your boat on a beautiful lake, take advantage of some shoreline fishing, go camping, or hike along some beautiful forest trails. There are also facilities for target shooting and children’s playgrounds, sports facilities, and picnic pavilions. 

Saddle Creek Park

About the Fishing

An abundance of bank fishing makes this a unique fish management area. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stock channel catfish regularly, and largemouth bass are fashionable with anglers. 

A largemouth bass special regulations of three fish bag limit allow for 15″-24″ inch slot limit. Equally, a catfish six fish bag limit is in place to maintain desirable fish populations under intense fishing pressure. 

Fish feeders are operated and maintained near several bank fishing sites. Fishing for catfish and bluegill is often right in these same areas. Willow bush is the primary shoreline vegetation.

Shoreline Fishing

If you love spending time outdoors, you will love Saddle Creek Park.

Fishing is the most common activity of park visitors. The park is active all year round; no matter the time of year or day, you will always find someone fishing. Saddle Creek Park makes it easy with excellent access to shoreline fishing and boat access from many public facilities in Polk County. 

All well maintained lakeside areas and provide very convenient and easy access for fishing. You can fish for largemouth bass; the fish will be holding on to the deep edges and points and the many islands. Plastic worms in Junebug, Watermelon, or Green Punkin colors will produce bass when they are not active. If chasing bait, try topwater or rattling l. Low light or overcast days, try a spinnerbait. 

Live wild shiners are always the most successful choice of bait when looking for a lunker largemouth bass. This bait is readily available at the corner of Saddle Creek Park Road and E memorial Blud at Phillips bait & Tackle Shop.

Try free-lining the live bait or using it under a cork; shiners are a good bet for fast action. Bluegill, Redear sunfish, and Shellcracker are available using earthworms, red wigglers, and crickets. Spawning season is best as it concentrates the fish, so the spawn ends to look for fishing to slow down. 

Catfish fishing continues to be great all year round. When fishing catfish, stay in 10 to 12 feet of water. Use chicken livers, commercial stink baits, dead shiners, or nightcrawlers on the bottom. 

Black crappie, also known as specks, can be caught by drifting live Missouri minnows or trolling with Hal flies and small spinners. Fishing will improve as the water temperature cools in the fall.

Boating

The majority of Saddle Creek Park, 750 acres that make up the park, most of it is water. It’s a varied lake activity, so take your time and get to know all your options. 

One part of Saddle Creek Park lake has limited access, with access from ramp #4 is it closed to the other sections. The other lakes are all joined and accessed from any of the other four ramps. The waterways are suitable for both powered boats as well as canoes. Check out the map below to see boat ramp locations.

Boat Ramp

There are several public boat ramps on Saddle Creek Park Road, which runs through the park’s middle and provides five boat ramps access.

See the Google map below for boat ramp locations.

Saddle Creek boat Ramps

Other Outdoor Activities

Hiking

Some lakeside and some short trails are accessed from the campgrounds and not commonly used by the public’s general members who come to the park.

There are two main trails, both perfect for hiking in Saddle Creek Park. Dogs are allowed on the trails, but no motorized vehicles, which means they are great for dogs. The main pathway in the park is a nature trail. Other routes are not strictly part of the park, but access to the path is from Saddle Creek.

Saddle-Creek-Park Trails

Camping

The lakeside area has great shade provided by large oak trees and backs up to the campground. All campsites have water and electricity, as well as RV hookups. The campground is a mixture of people in RV’s and others enjoying tents. The camps are relaxing and located next to the lake with excellent bass fishing and sunsets over the lakes.

Fees

Camping prices are per night for up to four people. 

With electric and water:

  • County residents – $20
  • Non-county – $20
  • Each additional person – $1

Without electricity and water:

  • County residents – $10
  • Non-county – $15
  • Each additional person – $1

Dumping Stations:

  • Per dump – $10

Gun Range

Saddle Creek Park Gun Range is accessible on the West Central part of Lakeland. 
Gun Range Hours: Wednesdays, Friday, and Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm
Gun Range phone number: (863) 499-2613
Campground Operation Hours are from: 5 am to 10 pm.
Phone: (863) 413-2399, Availability Hotline

Saddle Creek Park Map

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