POLK COUNTY, Fla.-- A portion of Panther Point Trail, accessed through Polk County’s Environmental Lands Marshall Hampton Reserve, has been closed due to alligator nesting season.

  • Portion of Panther Point Trail closed
  • Due to alligator nesting season
  • Officials will monitor & open trail when safe

Alligators often become territorial and protective of their nests and young during this time of year.

Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Division staff will monitor the situation and reopen the trail when it is determined to be safe for visitors.

Currently at Marshall Hampton Reserve, a portion of Panther Point Trail is closed at the bridge, requiring the visitor to turn around at that point for safety reasons. 

Visitors may travel 2.5 miles on Panther Point Trail before the trail closure.

Marshall Hampton Reserve is located on the northern end of Lake Hancock, with the Panther Point Trail running along the eastern shore of the lake.

This is the second Environmental Lands trail area to be closed by Polk County because of the nests this month. 

Marsh Rabbit Run Trail at Circle B Bar Reserve also is closed for the nesting season.

Those interested in obtaining additional information on the Marshal Hampton Reserve-Panther Point partial trail closures should contact Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Division at (863) 534-7377.

For a location map and additional information on Polk County Environmental lands, click here.