Nature Abounds

Down In the Southeast

The GREEN & The BLUE! From green spaces to nature to the wildness. From the bay to the gulf to the ocean. From park to waterfront. Urban meets the back country in minutes!

The naturalness of nature to the wildness of the native! Fauna and flora. Bird life and wild life. Dry land to water. I get excited to explore, but I crave the solitude of becoming one with nature too!

Nothing better than urban refuges! Hearing the wind in the trees, the bird songs and the water. Seeing the green, the light and the wild life. Smelling the scents in the air from damp earth to sweet floral to briny salt. Slowing down the pace and connecting with the natural around me! 

Weedon Island Preserve

This preserve is 3,700 acres and straddles both the Howard Frankland and Gandy bridges. I have explored on foot. I want to go back and take to the water to explore some more.

Check Out my post on Weedon Island Preserve!

Sawgrass Lake Park

400 acres of maple swamp! There is a mile-long boardwalk to keep visitors out of the water and away from the gators. Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to sunset.

Check Out my post on Sawgrass Lake Park!

Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum

More than 500 palms and growing representing 150 species from around the world! Located at North Shore Drive and 11th Avenue NE in St. Petersburg. Open daily 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset.

Maximo Park

70 Acres with wilderness area! Located at 34th Street and Pinellas Point Drive South in St. Petersburg. Open daily 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset.

  • Beach
  • 7 Boat Ramps
  • Covered Playground
  • Disc Golf Course
  • Indian Midden Site
  • Paintings by Artist Hermann Trappman
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Shoreline Fishing

Maximo Park History

Native Indians first lived in this area and portions of their villages remain. Look for the educational signage throughout the park to learn more about the park’s history and archaeology. Some of the signs feature paintings by local artist Hermann Trappman. His paintings depict the natural history of the area.

Hermann Trappman

Born in Rochester, New York and relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1st grade. As a boy, he played along the sandy shores of Tampa Bay.

He explored the natural and cultural history of Florida. He spent over 25 years as an interpretive park ranger at Boyd Hill Nature Park in St. Petersburg. He learned how the ecosystems worked and how humans survived for thousands of years in the complex environments of Florida.

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

245 acre refuge with five ecosystems, including gators and bird life! Located on the shore of Lake Maggiore in St. Petersburg.

On List to Explore!

  • Over two miles of trails throughout the preserve.
  • Facilitated guided tours.
  • Tram tours. 1:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
  • Overnight camping sites available.

Hours:  10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays. 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays.

Admission:  $3 for adults, $1.50 for children 3 to 16 and free for children under 3. City residents can purchase an annual member card for $10.

Florida Botanical Gardens

There are 30 acres of cultivated gardens on this 120 acre preserve! The other 90 acres is for conservation of ecosystems and wildlife.

Check Out my posts on the Florida Botanical Gardens – I & II!

Located at 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo. The gardens are open daily 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Admission is FREE.

  • Patio Garden with bridge and gazebo
  • Herb Garden
  • Tropical fruits
  • Plants native to Florida
  • Succulents
  • Bromeliads
  • Palms

Fort De Soto Park

The fort, built at the start of the 20th century, still stands! The Quartermaster Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 1,136 acre refuge spread over 5 interconnected islands (keys)!

Plant Life to Bird Life to Sea Life to Wild Life! The beach provides refuge to the loggerhead sea turtle, which nests between April to September.

Located at 3500 Pinellas Bayway South in Tierra Verde. The park is open daily from 7:00 a.m. until dark.

  • Beaches and Swimming
  • Boating and Fishing and Fishing Piers
  • Nature Trails
  • Hiking
  • Bird Watching – over 328 species of birds!
  • Picnicking
  • Camping
  • Canoeing and Kayaking – 2.25 mile recreational canoe trail
  • 2.5 acre Dog Park with beachfront

Fort De Soto Park has a spectacular view of the Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay!

The Bob Graham (former U.S. Senator and Governor) Sunshine Skyway Bridge is 21,877 feet in total length or 4.1 miles! The bridge is part of I-275 (SR 93) and US 19 (SR 55). The bridge connects St. Petersburg in Pinellas County and Terra Ceia in Manatee County passing through Hillsborough County. The bridge was designed by the Figg & Muller Engineering Group. Who also designed the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys.

Here’s to Discovering the Greens and the Blues! Here’s to Connecting to the Natural and the “Wild”! Happy Traveling, Adventuring & Exploring!

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