It’s hard to know where to begin on this one. There are trails and boardwalks. In some places, the boardwalks stretch quite a distance in nearly straight lines while all around is green. It is only from the observation tower that I was able to see Saint Petersburg, Tampa, and all the way across the bay to the Big Bend power station just peeking above the treetops. The boardwalks lead to several observation platforms that jut out over lagoons where birds feed. Some are completely enclosed by mangroves. Others are open to Tampa Bay only by narrow straights. There is only one extreme corner of one platform in the park the picture below could have been taken from. If the photograph had better resolution, you would be able to see all the way to Apollo Beach.
There are fiddler crabs throughout the park. I couldn’t see them, but I knew they were there because when I slapped the wooden railing of the boardwalk, I heard the crackle of hundreds of them running to their burrows. I did this several more times until they stopped reacting. A quarter of a mile away, I tried it again and got the same response. That was a lot of fun.
In the drier parts of the park, we saw a tortoise and an armadillo. We were able to walk right up to them as they fed. Neither acknowledged our existence at all. We also saw dragonflies and birds. These were much more flighty.
Unfortunately, we went at a time when the history center was closed, but we were still able to learn that the island (actually a peninsula) was once used by an airport and a film studio. Now it has a power plant on it. Other things to note: much of the park is wheelchair-accessible, and one can rent kayaks to travel around the bay in. There are suggested routes, some of which cut right through the island (actually a peninsula) through narrow canals. There are information boards along the paths and boardwalks to teach about plants and other things. There are even a few benches. I loved it.
1800 Weedon Drive NE, Saint Petersburg, Florida
Written by Daniel Noe, ChampionOfTheGalaxy.com
LOCAL TAMPA BAY