Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg

4.7
#3 of 11 in Parks in St. Petersburg
The Weedon Island Preserve is a 3,190 acre natural area situated along the western shore of Tampa Bay, and located on 1800 Weedon Drive NE. St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. It is predominately an estuarine preserve composed of upland and aquatic ecosystems such as mangrove forests, pine/scrubby flatwoods, and maritime hammock, and is home to a variety of native wildlife. The preserve is also a designated archaeological area with several shell mounds identified on the property that provide evidence of early peoples who inhabited the land for thousands of years.On June 13, 1972, Weedon Island Preserve was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. In 1974 the state of Florida purchased Weedon Island and its surrounding islands and it officially opened for public use in December 1980. In 1993, the state created a lease agreement with Pinellas County to manage and maintain the preserve. The county's Department of Parks and Conservation Resources presently manages the area.Weedon Island Preserve's name is derived from Tampa doctor and amateur archaeologist, Leslie Washington Weedon.Recreational ActivitiesThe preserve offers a total of 4.7 miles of nature trails for hiking with 2 miles out of the total as boardwalks and paved trails that are ADA accessible, and the remaining 2.7 miles as natural trail loops. The 3,000 foot Tower Boardwalk trail leads visitors to a 45-foot tall observation tower, the tallest of its kind in Pinellas County. With favorable weather conditions, one can see much of the Preserve and Tampa Bay from this tower, as well as the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg. Three additional observation platforms along the trails offer opportunities for bird and wildlife viewing, and are ideal for photography.
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Weedon Island Preserve Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
374 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Lots of little lizardy things, and probably if you come in morning or evening you'll see more birds. Loved the elevated trails over a critical ecosystem and habitat. Tower view was nice. Just overall ...  more »
  • Kayak or walk but bring your binoculars. I particularly enjoy the white pelicans but there are so many birds to see. Its usually a place where you can find a spot to yourself.  more »
  • Taking a hike or canoe or kayak trip through the mangrove forest is an incredible journey. Seeing the archeological treasure canoe in person is an incredibly rewarding experience.  more »
Google
  • Wonderful location to enjoy the outdoors. Beautiful, peaceful & educational. Loved that many of the paths are wheel chair & stroller accessible. High tower gives you an amazing view to estuaries, bay and views in distance of St. Pete and Tampa. There are also unpaved truly natural paths. I have never seen crowded. Kids will love seeing the spider crabs, lizards, birds and turtles. Fish abound in the waterways. Trails for canoes & kayaks too. Rentals available. A true hidden gem. By the way no fees - it is free to enjoy!
  • Really nice nature preserve with a boardwalk through the mangroves. The nature center has limited hours and there is only one restroom (as in one stall on the side of the building) to serve everyone who is visiting. There are multiple trails, but they are difficult to navigate (hard to determine where one trail ends and another begins). Would recommend taking a picture of the map in the parking lot to help to navigate.
  • Loved this place! We kayaked through the mangrove with kayaks rented from Sweetwater Kayaks. 2 hours wasn’t enough time to kayak the entire route. I would rent for 3-4 hours to see everything. The preserve also has extensive elevated pathways throughout. Would love to go back someday. Plus, it smelled amazing there.
  • This park is a respite from the troubles and stress of your day. The boardwalks lead you through the mangroves, providing an unique perspective of natural, wild Florida. You can also kayak through them, too! The cultural center sheds light on what life was like in the area before settlers arrived and hosts amazing talks about Florida flora and fauna. A must visit!
  • Great place to walk around and experience some of the areas wildlife and wetlands. The preserve also has a place to launch kayaks and paddle boards. There is a small pier that is popular for fishing. I especially enjoyed the boardwalk through the mangroves.

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