Florida's semi-tropical climate makes the outdoors fun all year round. The entire state has much to offer in the way of parks and recreation. More than just a place to camp. Many if not most of Florida state parks have hiking trails - some even have biking and equestrian trails. County parks generally smaller than state parks still offer plenty of outdoor enjoyment. Smaller yet, wonderful tiny bits of nature can be found at any of the hundreds of city parks throughout the state. Most of Florida's parks, no matter the size offer fishing opportunities and an abundance of wildlife. Listed here is a small sampling of the region's favorites and links for more information.
OFFICIAL PARKS DEPARTMENTS
IN WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA
Florida State Parks ~ The official website for Florida State Parks. All you need to know, a comprehensive listing of all parks, activities and facilities.
Pasco County Parks ~ The official website for Pasco County parks allows you to search by map or PDF files. The department maintains 37 parks in the county.
Pinellas County Parks ~ The official website for Pinellas County parks & recreation. A complete source of information, photos, videos & maps on everything the parks department has to offer.
Hillsborough County Parks ~ The official website for Hillsborough County parks, a simple listing format, not lending justice to the beautiful parks in the county.
FAVORITE REGIONAL PARKS
IN TAMPA BAY
Anclote Key Preserve ~ ferry service from Clearwater or Tarpon Springs, 19th Century lighthouse, excellent fishing.
Boca Ciega Millennium ~ 184 acres, tucked into a residential area. Noted for native plants and a discovery of dinosaur bones; this great park has walking/biking trails, boardwalks , plenty of wildlife and a dog park too!
Edward Menard ~ a popular freshwater fishing spot, picnic, observation tower on 1,281 acres.
Egmont Key ~ access by private boat or charter, a wildlife refuge, lighthouse built in 1858, Fort built in 1923.
Fred Howard Park ~ 155 acres on the Gulf of Mexico. Butterfly garden, trails, beach & more.
Fort Desoto Park ~ listed best USA beach in 2005, the largest of the Pinellas County parks. Camping, boating, fishing, a fort and more. The gem of the county!
Lake Seminole Park ~ a wildlife habitat & sanctuary, plenty to do! No swimming. Boating, freshwater fishing, walking/biking trail and a popular spot for weddings.
Lettuce Lake Park ~ 240 acres of natural Florida beauty including trails for bikes & walking, picnic area boardwalks & observation tower.
E.G. Simmons Park ~ since the mid 60's a popular spot for nature and bird watching, 469 acres on Tampa Bay offers fishing pier, beach, and camping.
War Veterans' Memorial Park ~ known to most locals as Bay Pines Park. Sitting on Boca Ciega Bay, next to the VA hospital, this 122 acre park is a wildlife safety zone. One of the most popular boat ramps in the county. Shelters, playgrounds, restrooms and even a tank!
Weedon Island Preserve ~ Weedon Island Preserve, at approximately 3,700 acres , is an ecological jewel within an urban landscape on the shores of Old Tampa Bay. Guided tours, fishing, pier, boardwalk, tower, canoe launch and much more.
Guests at Holloway Haven Cottages can walk right across the street to our local city park, Seminole City Park. Fish in the pond or simply relax on one of the park swings or benches. Bike riders will enjoy the convenience of having one of the best bike trails in the nation - right across the street! Pinellas Trail.
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