Florida Paddling Trails Association

City of Lake Wales Blueway Community

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City of Lake Wales

Lake Wales, Florida was founded in 1911 by the Lake Wales Land Company, a group of businessmen who purchased 5,000 acres in the hilly wilderness around Lake Wailes, a pristine lake named after Sydney Wailes, a land agent employed by the State of Florida after the Civil War. The men of the Lake Wales Land Company believed that the plentiful pine forests would form the basis of a thriving turpentine and lumber industry, the sandy soil would be ideal for growing grapefruit, oranges and other citrus, and the rolling hills would be the perfect site for a town. The first settlers arrived in 1911, the town was incorporated in 1917, and the City of Lake Wales was granted its municipal charter in 1921.

Lake Wales is now a city of 15,000 people over 20 square miles. We have our own Charter School system and three colleges in the area. Some of our popular local attractions include  Bok Tower Gardens , the  Lake Wales Depot Museum , Spook Hill and the  Florida Skydiving Center . The Lake Wales Arts Council hosts an Art Show every spring and a downtown holiday event every December. We also have a Pioneer Days Festival in the fall and a Mardi Gras Celebration weekend. We also have 250 acres of public parks and athletic fields as well as 2 multi-modal trails of about 2 miles each. One is a path along the shores of Lake Wailes.


Bok Tower
Bok Tower Gardens
Depot Museum
Depot Museum



Lake Wales Mardi Gras
Lake Wales Mardi Gras

Buster Island Paddling Trail - Lake Kissimmee State Park

Buster Island Paddling Trail Launch

Places to Stay:

   Bed & Breakfast
Three Oaks Bed & Breakfast        863-676-4470

33 N Lake Shore Blvd           

Lake Wales, FL 33853

Holiday Inn Express                     863-647-0066   

2953 Ridge Way

Lake Wales, FL 33859

Hampton Inn                                 863-734-3000

22900 HWY 27 

Lake Wales, FL 33859

Prince of Wales Motel                   863-676-1249 

513 S Scenic HWY

Lake Wales, FL 33859

Green Gables Inn                         863-676-2511 

21380 US HWY 27 North 

Lake Wales, 33859


Bullock's Landing                          863-676-000 

2041 Thompson Nursery Rd. 

Lake Wales, FL 33859

Camp n Aire RV Resort                 863-638-1015 

15860 HWY 27 S 

Lake Wales FL 33859

Westgate River Ranch Resort       863-692-1321 

3200 River Ranch Blvd.

River Ranch, FL 33867

Lake Kissimmee State Park           863-696-1112

14248 Camp Mack Rd 

Lake Wales, FL 33898

Lake Wailes Park

        Lake Wailes Park


Lake Wailes


Just a few of the renowned attractions found in Lake Wales include:


Spook Hill

For More Information:

City of Lake Wales

Contacts for Blueway Community Events:
  • Community Website: www.cityoflakewales.com

News and Special Reports

Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau

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