Thank You to Our Local Sponsors

Running Trails, Walking Trails and Paved Paths in Lakeland and Polk County

Walking Trails in Lakeland Polk County

Are you looking for a place to walk in Lakeland with a stroller or somewhere you can walk on a paved trail? If you prefer to stay on even ground, these paved walking paths and scenic trails are a great place to get some exercise, rollerblade, or just take a leisurely stroll to enjoy being outdoors. Many of them are also great running trails. Most of these paths are also wheelchair-accessible trails.

While some of these paved paths are multi-use trails where you can also go for a bike ride, we have a separate guide to Bike Trails in Polk County you might want to check out, as well as a list of Hiking Trails in Polk County (including Circle B Bar Reserve, Colt Creek State Park, and other favorites in Central Florida).

Running Trails + Paved Walking Trails in Lakeland

Lake Hollingsworth

If you ever hear someone mention “walking the lake,” odds are they are referring to Lake Hollingsworth. This lake is centrally located and includes a 3 mile paved walking path around the outside of the lake. You’ll enjoy beautiful views across the lake of Florida Southern College, First Presbyterian Church, the Lakeland Country Club, and some of Lakeland’s most beautiful homes. It is also a great place to see wildlife including ducks, birds, and squirrels, plus you might even spot a bunny rabbit (usually on the north side of the lake near FSC) or a mama duck with her baby ducks. If you’re exploring with kids, look for the boardwalk on the north side of the lake.

Location: 929 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33803 – Public parking is available to the right of the Lakeland Country Club on the south side of the lake.

Lake Hollingsworth Walking Path Lakeland (2)

Peterson Park

We love the boardwalk at Peterson Park! In addition to the boardwalk through the woods and around the lake, Peterson Park also has a wide, paved walking path {part of the City of Lakeland’s 3 Parks Trail}. The paved path begins where the road begins to curve left, just to the left of the boat ramp, note that it does not have any shade. Access the boardwalk from the paved path OR from the screened pavilion area where the road ends. Keep an eye out to try and spot alligators and wildlife out on the lake.

Location: 3700 Cleveland Heights Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33803
Learn More: City of Lakeland

Lake Parker

West Lake Parker Drive has a paved trail with fun artwork! This lakefront pathway has great views across Lake Parker, plus you can check out the painted tiles in the asphalt. They depict things from the last 100 years in Lakeland and Polk County. The trail runs along Lakeshore Drive / West Lake Parker Drive beginning at Bon Air Street going North. Artwork runs up to Bella Vista Street, and then the paved path continues all the way to Lake Parker Park. Learn more about the West Lake Parker Drive trail artwork. {There is no designated public parking in this area}.

Location: Bon Air St & Lakeshore Dr OR E Bella Vista St & W Lake Parker Dr

Lake Parker Park has a paved trail that runs through the park and alongside Lake Parker. Much of the trail is shaded, and there are fitness stops where you can try different fitness activities.

Location: 910 Granada St, Lakeland, FL 33801 (There are two entrances to Lake Parker Park – use the one on Granada to access the playground and trail)
Learn More: City of Lakeland website

Hollis Garden Lakeland

Lake Mirror and Hollis Garden

Lake Mirror has a large promenade and paved walkway the entire way around. It is approximately 0.7 mile around Lake Mirror making it an easy walk for little ones, AND it is nice and wide, giving them plenty of space to run and play. It is especially beautiful for an evening stroll when the lights are reflecting off Lake Mirror {always be aware of your surroundings in a public space at night!}

Ideal for a leisurely stroll, Hollis Garden is home to over 10,000 flowers, ornamental shrubs, and native trees. If you have kids you can play I Spy or explore a variety of plants and flowers. Located on Lake Mirror near the Barnett & Sunflower Playgrounds. Check website for operating hours. CLOSED on Mondays.

Parking is available at Hollis Garden, in the parking garage at Lakeland Electric, and around Lakeland Community Theater.
Location: 614 E. Orange Street, Lakeland, FL 33801
Learn more: City of Lakeland website

Lake Mirror Lakeland Walking Trail at Sunset
Lake Mirror in Lakeland at sunset

Fletcher Park at Lake Bonny

Best known for the Lakeland skate park, Lake Bonny Park is also home to a 1+ mile paved walking trail with a boardwalk over Lake Bonny.

Location: 800 US-98, Lakeland, FL 33801
Learn More: City of Lakeland

Loyce E. Harpe Park

While there isn’t a designated paved trail at Loyce Harpe Park on Carter Road, if you go during the daytime when there are no youth sports, the road through the park can be a paved trail with minimal vehicle traffic. Note that there is no shade, and this park is busy in the evenings and weekends with youth sports.

Location: 300 W Carter Rd, Mulberry, FL 33860
Learn more: Polk County website

Common Ground Park

In addition to Lakeland’s largest playground, there is a large grass field as well as a paved path at Common Ground Park. Look for the paved path near the parking area at the “back” of the playground (turn at Southington/Denton and go around the tennis courts).
Location: 1000 E Edgewood Drive, Lakeland, Florida 33803. 
Learn more: Common Ground Park and Playground.

Banana Lake Park

This park is tucked away in the neighborhoods off Clubhouse Road in south Lakeland, and we think it is a hidden gem! The park includes a playground, huge grass field, and paved path around the park (as well as a boat ramp).
Location: 5002 Tillery Road, Lakeland, Florida 33812
Learn more: Banana Lake Park

Walker Road Park

Walker Road Park is off the beaten path in north Lakeland. It has softball fields, grass multi-purpose fields, a playground, and a paved walking path around the park.
Location: 1035 Walker Rd, Lakeland, FL 33810
Learn moreWalker Road Park

Dobbins Park

Our favorite thing at Dobbins Park are the ziplines on the playground! There is also a paved walking trail around the park, and a large open field to play or learn to ride a bike.
Location: Next to Dixieland Elementary School at 514 Ariana St, Lakeland, Florida 33803
Learn more: Dobbins Park and Playground

Christina Park

You won’t find a grassy field at Christina Park (just softball fields), but you will find one of our favorite shaded playgrounds in Lakeland. There is a paved path that runs around the outside of the softball fields, plus when the park is empty the parking lot is a great place to ride a bike.
Location: 500 Co Rd 540A, Lakeland, FL 33813
Learn moreChristina Park and Playground

Douglas M. Cook Park

Located near Lakeland Square Mall in north Lakeland, this park has a huge grass field and a paved path around the park.

Location: 955 Wedgewood Estates Boulevard, Lakeland, Florida 33809
Learn more: Douglas M. Cook Park

Fort Fraser Trail

Fort Fraser Trail is a paved multi-use bike trail in Lakeland that runs along Bartow Hwy/Hwy 98 between Lakeland and Bartow, great for biking, rollerblading, walking, or jogging with a stroller. The full trail is 7.75 miles long. Perfect for a leisurely family bike ride, you can even stop to enjoy a picnic at one of the rest shelters. The trail begins at Winter Lake Road/540 in Lakeland and ends just before Hwy 60 in Bartow. Parking is available at:

  • Behind the Polk Sheriff’s Office Substation – turn at the light at Polk State College on Hwy 98 and follow the signs for Fort Fraser parking (this is just a parking lot, no restrooms)
  • Highland City Trailhead / Main Trailhead – Central Ave & 4th Ave off Hwy 98 in Lakeland (restrooms available here)
  • Bartow Trailhead – 1197 N Wilson Ave, Bartow, FL 33830
  • Click here for a map.

Paved Walking Trails in Winter Haven

Chain of Lakes Trail in Winter Haven

This paved trail runs 3 miles along a former railroad bed from downtown Winter Haven to north of Lake Alfred. Popular as a bike trail in Winter Haven or a walking or running trail.

Location: Parking is available at the southern end of the trail in Winter Haven at the Chain of Lakes Downtown Trailhead Park (611 Third Street, NW) and at Inman Park (8th Street NW).
Learn more:

South Lake Howard Nature Park

Visit the Lake Howard Nature Park to walk, bike and roller blade the 1.5 mile paved looped trail. A boardwalk provides a nice overlook on Lake Howard which is on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes.

Location: 1570 Lake Howard Dr SW, Winter Haven, FL 33880
More info: City of Winter Haven

Lake Hartridge Nature Park

Enjoy the 1/3 mile loop trail at the Lake Hartridge Nature Park in Winter Haven, located on the south shore of Lake Hartridge. There is also a playground at this park. Be alert – visitors have reported alligator sightings not far from the trail.

Location: 1775-1799 Havendale Blvd NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881
More info: City of Winter Haven

Paved Walking Trails in Polk County

TECO Auburndale Trail

This paved, multi-use trail in Auburndale, is popular with walkers, joggers, cyclists, and inline skaters. The trail is 5.5 miles long and meets up with the Van Fleet Trail at the north end of the Auburndale TECO Trail. Ideal for those who don’t want a rural or remote trail.

Parking available at 318 Denton Ave, Auburndale. Parking also available at the Van Fleet Parking lot at 7683 Berkley Rd, Polk City, FL 33868. Click here for a map.

James A. Van Fleet State Trail

The Van Fleet is a 29-mile paved, multi-use trail that winds through the heart of the Green Swamp. While you could walk this trail, it is mostly used as a bike trail. This a completely flat trail, mostly straight with one curve. The Van Fleet Trail meets up with the north end of the TECO Auburndale Trail. Note that portions of the Van Fleet trail are remote, take plenty of water and use caution. 

Parking is located at 7683 Berkley Road, Polk City, Florida 33868Click here for a map.

Mary Holland Park in Bartow

Mary Holland Park includes a playground for kids, a dog park for the pups (brand new in 2020), and a paved walking trail the entire family can enjoy.

Location: 2015 Shumate Dr, Bartow, FL 33830

Patterson Park in Fort Meade

Patterson Park is a 16.5-acre public park that has three small lakes. Patterson Park has two floating fishing docks, picnic areas, and a paved nature walkway that runs along the water. 

Location: 9th St NE, Fort Meade, FL 33841
More info: Ft. Meade Chamber

Map – Paved Walking Trails Near Me

Running Trails Near Me

Outdoor Activities Guide

Check out our full Outdoor Fun Guide for more outdoor things to do in Lakeland, Polk County, and Central Florida.