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Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg

4.7
#3 of 11 in Parks in St. Petersburg
Hiking Trail Wildlife Area
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
362 reviews
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4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The exhibit in the visitor center was excellent. Lots of information about the habitat as well as the history of the site. We went for the guided hike and the trail is easy but full of mosquitoes! The...  more »
  • Weedon Island Preserve is known for its 4.7 miles of nature trails for hiking and a 4-mile, self-guided canoeing/kayaking loop called the South Paddling Trail that weaves through mangrove tunnels and ...  more »
  • Very close to the city and yet feels far away. It has great hiking trails through the mangroves, but above all also a kayak through the mangroves extremely liked.
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  • Beautiful nature preserve and an excellent place to kayak. Fishing is also pretty good here, with the exception of the fishing pier, fittingly enough. It gets very busy on weekends, and parking is limited and inconvenient. I would also enjoy it if there were more private and secluded areas for groups and families to have picnics and the like, but I can understand why that's not a priority given people's tendencies to litter.
  • We took our kayaks here and had a great time! The mangrove tunnels are fantastic and by far the best around! The parking can be a bit tough depending on when you go but other than that this place is great! The Kayak launch area is really nice and makes it very easy to get on and off of the water. If you haven't been to this hidden jem......Do yourself a favor and GO!
  • I mainly kayak and paddle board through the tunnels here, it's amazing. You can not fit a boat through these narrow tunnels making it very peaceful and usually pretty quite. Kayak rentals on site, and a marked path so you almost can't get lost. It's a really beautiful couple hours of my kayaking! Bring your drinking water, and sunscreen. 😀
  • Nice place to walk around. They have a neat museum about the history of the area along with an 1100 year canoe that was excavated in the park a few years ago. That part is only open 9a-4p on Thursday through Saturday, and they've now added Sunday hours too.
  • Paddleboard trail through the mangroves is a fantastic adventure! It was a 2016 Boy Scouts of America project! Very well done!

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Where to stay in St. Petersburg

Waterfront hotels are popular with visitors on vacation, offering proximity to plenty of dining and nightlife options as well as the picturesque beaches. Those who want to immerse themselves in St. Pete’s bohemian scene should consider staying in the 600 Block Arts District or the Grand Central District. A short-term apartment rental, offering amenities such as kitchen and laundry facilities, is a convenient option if you're planning to stay a while in the city.
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