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Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg

(340+ reviews on the web)
Hiking Trail
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
  • Weedon Island Preserve is hidden behind the Dog Track and next to the Duke Power Plant, at the Southwest end of the Gandy. They have a surprisingly nice Nature Center/Musuem (check operating hours ......  more »
  • What an amazing experience kayaking through tunnels in the mangroves! I went there once in the evening and saw a heron, loads of little crabs and a dolphin! On the way out of park that night, there wa...  more »
  • It's very quiet on the water.This place is like a little wonderland. The waters are calm, still and shallow. It is brackish water I am told. It is in a basin. It is an easy beautiful kayak ride. You c...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • Florida nature as expected. We rented a tandem kayak and paddled to marker 10 and back. We saw a lot of neat wildlife in the narrow canals through the mangroves. Fortunately it wasn't too hot yet.We were pressed for time with a 2 hour rental so we didn't get to enjoy the area as much as we would have liked. The trip from rental area to the preserve area can be a little rough when the wind picks up. So, get there earlier and rent longer that 2 hours if you want to relax and enjoy the area.
  • This park is an easy drive from both Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. It's a great place to go for a hike, see natural habitat, and is awesome for nature photographers. Do yourself a favor and sign up for a walking tour with one of the volunteers. They will show you things and give you history you will never find on your own. They have a learning center for both adults and children, public restrooms, and a (privately owned) place to rent kayaks to see the sights from the water. The boardwalk out to the 45 foot observation tower is beautiful, and the views from the tower spectacular. Take your camera!
  • Has some great trails, with the most scenic views of the mangroves and of the bay. This is a great place to combine nature and exercise, there's always something new to see or a record to beat. My personal favorite place to jog.