Hello! The Gulf of Mexico
The park consists of 155 acres and is located on the Gulf of Mexico. You get to the park by going over the mile long causeway. The views are spectacular!
White sandy beaches. We enjoyed the beach and swimming area. Birds, dolphins and manatees. We saw plenty of seagulls.
The landscape of the park is impressive! Sea grass beds to wetlands to mangrove estuaries to salterns to coastal scrub to long leaf and slash pine flatwoods to turkey oak to long leaf pine sandhill. Plus the various species of birdlife and wildlife.
There is a $5 daily parking fee and pay via an automated pay station. There are picnic shelters available that require a reservation. There are plenty of restrooms, rinse stations and beach showers.
The park was dedicated on April 16, 1966 and today there is almost 2 million visitors to the park annually. Fred Howard was elected the Mayor of Tarpon Springs in 1945 and served as a City Commissioner. He also was the Vice Chairman of the Pinellas County Park Board for more than 30 years.
(Photos by RSheridan)
Exploring at Brooker Creek Preserve
Finally able to explore more of this preserve. Due to the rains this Summer this part of the preserve was not accessible.
Welcome to the Swamp!
Like a Jungle Out Here
Unique Ground Cover
Now In A Pine Forest
Tree With Many Branches
This tree was massive with many, many branches.
(Photos by RSheridan)
In the Swamp
Brooker Creek Preserve is the largest natural area in Pinellas County with approx. 8700 acres! Located in Tarpon Springs. Open Daily from 7:00 a.m. to approx. 1 hour before sunset. FREE Admission.
- Environmental Education Center
- Boardwalks and Hiking Trails; about five miles of trails
- Brooker Creek
- Native Fauna and Flora
- Various Ecosystems
The preserve is a wilderness area and not designated as a park. Established in 1992 for the conservation, protection and restoration of native natural resources. It protects a portion of the Brooker Creek Watershed. Brooker Creek is the only stream that enter Lake Tarpon and a major influence on its water quality.
Ecosystems and Habitats
- Cypress Domes
- Forested Wetlands
- Oak Hammocks
- Pine Flatwoods
I enjoyed exploring the Cypress Domes ecosystem. Bald cypress, black gum and buttonbush. Hold water for long periods of time.
The creek system consists of 13 channels, which hold flowing water during the rainy season (May to October). The channels merge into one that outflows into Lake Tarpon.
The Pine Flatwoods ecosystem consists of tall longleaf, slash pines and saw palmetto. The longleaf pines were exploited as a natural sources of turpentine. The longleaf pines can be restored through frequent fire. Prescribed burning every 3 to 5 years encourages restoration and growth.
Female In Front and Male Behind
One Cool Bat House
Turtles and Tortoises
(Photos By RSheridan)
Happy Exploring In the Great Outdoors!