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Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg

(4.7/5 based on 340+ reviews on the web)
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
  • Make sure that you bring sunscreen and mosquito repellent.Be prepared to do some walking. Wooden walkway through the mangrove boonies that you can walk or bike. I live close by and have been there man...  more »
  • We came on a Wednesday during spring break. 20mph winds, but we put in at the kayak launch and stayed left to go through the mangroves. Very unique, fun experience. If you go, make sure to take a smal...  more »
  • Whe visited the preserve on Tuesday, visitor center is open from Thursdays through Sundays so we didn't see everything. It was hot and sunny when we were there. We just walked up to the observation to...  more »
Google
  • Cool. Quiet and nice place.. My boyfriend fished it here as a kid. What neat conversations come through! So pretty.
  • Excellent museum for the local archaeology and ecology. Nice hiking trails too, including a boardwalk and observation tower in the wetlands. The narrow "canals" south of the museum were made by the Corps of Engineers in the 1960s in an attempt to drain the wetlands. They are visible from the air when you fly in or out of Tampa.
  • LOCAL REVIEW: First off, I had NO idea this place was here...and I live just a few miles away! Found this place online, when looking for places to hike, and we're glad we did. This is an enjoyable way to spend a morning or afternoon. If you're looking for Florida scenery in all its wonderment, this is the place. There are 3-4 lookout points within the park, and each one offers a different perspective. Some trails/loops are on a boardwalk, while others are just as you'd expect...dirt, but with lots of coverage. This is especially important on hot summer days.
  • Really enjoyed our first visit here. We checked out the boardwalk and part of the nature trail. Our little one got to see her first armadillo. I wish the center was open more days as it was closed when we visited. We look forward to coming back to check it out as well as the viewing platform we were unable to get to as we ran out of time.
  • Great park. Lots of trails and usually quiet. Great for birdwatching and general wildlife. Wear bug spray.