I have driven Interstate 275 south through Saint Petersburg a zilliion times and I never knew that right next to it, off the 54th avenue north exit, was a 400 acre piece of Florida splendor.
Hidden in plain sight in one of the most densely populated counties in Florida, is one of the largest maple swamps on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
A great place to have a family picnic and then perhaps afterward enjoy some quality family time learning a little about Florida nature. An education center is situated at the beginning of the boardwalk trail and is a great place to start your adventure. At the education center, you can read up on the ecosystem of the area and learn about the wildlife that you may experience on your visit.
The meandering boardwalk trail offers an enjoyable shaded walk through the lush swamp filled with the colors of nature. If it weren’t for the sounds of the nearby interstate, you would swear you were deep in the swamp and far away from civilization. There is also plenty of shade, which is important in the summer months. Another nice feature is the many benches scattered about offering a nice relaxing spot to wait quietly for a chance wildlife sighting.
Herons, Egrets, Ibis, Wood Storks, Turtles and Alligators are all common sights along the lake and canals
Sawgrass Lake Park is very popular with migrating birds in the fall and spring and attracts bird watchers from all over the country.
There is something unique at every turn especially if you take your time and patiently observe.
An observation tower gives visitors a view of the lake where perhaps an alligator sighting is probable.
Sawgrass Lake Park is located at 7400 25th Street North in Saint Petersburg and use of the park is absolutely free.
Restrooms are provided at the Education Center. Park hours are 7 am to sunset, 7 days a week. Park is closed Thanksgiving, day after Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Florida has so many parks to enjoy and now when the new words seem to be, social distancing and uncertain times, there has never been a time in our modern history where we needed parks and the great fresh outdoors, like the way we do today. Get up, get out, and have some fun in the Florida outdoors!!
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