Typical view [?]
NOTE: Very covered
LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Despite being basically IN Tampa it's a nice covered forest that feels like a real forest. Mostly live oak. Two ponds - the 2nd one often has interesting birds. Nice cover, a couple loops. You're usually not the only person there - not crowded but not total solitude either.
Pretty random but interesting things for us. Gallinules, Sandhill Cranes, and Pied Billed Grebes are common. See wrens fairly often. First place we saw Wood ducks and Wilson's Snipes - and a lot of them. Some great encounters with kingfishers. Then typical forest birds at random but I wouldn't say there are many. Most action is by the lake. I think this changes seasonally and with changing water levels but we see the most stuff along the right side of the lake towards the back quarter (the corner where you can see a house ruining the view). There are muddy islands out there and if you look close you might see the snipes etc. Gallinules and ducks are just wherever - maybe again this corner is best.
Only thing we've see or seen here are gopher tortoises and turtles. It seems like the kind of place to see deer but despite it seeming wild I don't think it's big enough to support deer or close enough to wildlife corridors.
Parking is ample, trails are in good shape, the trailhead sign is nice, often they have nice printed maps. That is about it. All kinds of gas stations are nearby though.
No secret - follow directions from phone. Parking and sign is pretty obvious. It's on north side of road.
Very enjoyable park - thank you so much!
I'd expect to spend an hour. You might be able to walk to the pond and back in 20 minutes.
If you're in central Tampa, are jonesing for a walk in a real feeling forest, and have very little time: this is where to go. Or if you want a fair chance to see a wood duck or wilson's snipe (or sand hill crane) - this is the only place I'd know to recommend. It's not quite connected but close enough that you can say it's part of that big string of forest from the green swamp on down to Hillsborough River State Park, Flatwoods Park, Lettuce Lake and over here. There's not much wildlife but it feels like a forest so it's a nice walk and we usually see interesting birds, mostly by the central pond.
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