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Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

Andrew Thoreson
May 2023
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GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
How Big Not Rated
Importance Not Rated
Revisit? A
Birding D
Wildlife D
Summer Heat B
Terrain A
Fun Hike Not Rated
Maintained B
Mosquitos B
Biting Files A
Ticks B
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 33701 FL-52, Saint Leo, FL, Pasco, USA, 33574

1) What It's Like

A monestary, a university campus, and the parts to visit: the abbey church and the grotto/shrines.

2) Kinds of Birds

Supposedly birds show up in Lake Jovita behind the monastery but we've never seen much of anything.

3) Wildlife

None - squirrels

4) Amenities

There's a bathroom near the shop in the parking area. Also ample confessional booths and holy water.

5) Directions

FL-52 is the major road that goes past St.Leo University. Facing the university the Abbey is on the left and behind the abbey is the monestary (and convent?). All interesting buildings and people are very nice. If you walked across FL-52 from the abbey there is a path to the grotto - or if you drive to "The Abbey Tavern" across the street and keep going on the grass path there's parking for the grotto. It's called "Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes". Lake Jovita is behind the abbey. There's a public boat ramp park on the left side of the lake. To get there start at campus and go west (so to left if facing campus) on that main road - FL-52, right shortly on Pompanic St and again right on McMullen Dr. You can see the lake and figure it out by just looking. Keep going on Fl-52 and a few nice restaurants in city of San Antonio


6) Time Requirements

20 minutes at the church if you really check it out and maybe 20 at the grotto.


St.Leo is several things. It's a monastery, it's a beautiful abbey church - not many in the US are as nice to be in as European ones but this is IMHO. It's a grotto (outdoor shrines). It's a small university campus.

It's nice walking around college campuses but the church and grotto we often stop at. I'm not religious but I started enjoying these kinds of things after seeing the abandoned grotto/shrine in Lake Wales and a trip to Italy.

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