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Brooker Creek Preserve

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT
Andrew Thoreson
Mar 2018
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (36)

Snapshots! (29)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? A
Birding B
Wildlife A *
Summer Heat B
Terrain B
Fun Hike B
Maintained A
Mosquitos D *
Biting Files F *
Ticks C
NOTE: A-, Big woods but not connected to others
NOTE: Depends where you are
NOTE: Sometimes none, sometimes BAD
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 3940 Keystone Rd., Tarpon Springs, FL, Pinellas, USA, 34688

1) What It's Like

Very well run 10,000 acre park / forest. Pinellas county runs it (they are good at parks) and SWFWMD co-owns the land. 5 miles of hiking trails, 9 miles of horse trails, great nature center and boardwalk areas. Lots of birds and wildlife.

2) Kinds of Birds

We've seen several new (to us) warblers here, swallow tailed kites, owls, hawks, swallow tailed kites in the forest, wading birds, herons/egrets. Mostly it's seeing raptors and warblers that seem special.

The little trail called the "birding trail" - where it connects to the rest of the trails is where we see the most bands of mixed flocks periodically coming through - so titmice and random warblers. That trail itself goes to a blind overlooking a power line easement exposed area. The only thing we ever see there are vultures and red shouldered hawks once in awhile but I'll take a view. However - I was ripped to pieces by horse flies here in late April once - really badly. So approach with caution. We haven't really seen all that many birds actually on that part of the trail.

If you go further from the birding trail and other trails you'll hit the parking lot but you'll cross a bridge over a creek. We often see birds here - forest and wading birds. The boardwalks have some similar spots.

3) Wildlife

Seen about everything here except bear - Deer, gopher tortoise, racoon/armadillo/opossum, large alligators posing at boardwalk, and just unusual bugs etc. Pretty great.

4) Amenities

Everything - nature center, gift shop, school area, boardwalks, bathrooms. It's also not very far to drive to gas stations etc.

5) Dear Ranger

Great job! I'm afraid of your bird blind shelter due to the destruction wrought on me by deer flies hanging out in there.

6) Time Requirements

You could spend the entire day hiking if not more. Or - the park starts with a pretty boardwalk - you could just stay for 20 minutes and get something out of it. Wilderness trails extend out from the center but it's a place you could invite your grand mother to and she would like it.


Experience

You park and if you look around there you might see gopher tortoises hanging out. The main entrance is pretty clear but there's an exit (or not as visible entrance) that goes to a creek bridge that often invites birds/animals to sit there for you.

The boardwalks are nice and extensive but they basically lead you into the buildings and out to the trails. The nature center has a gift shop, a schooling building, some nice educational things.

The area the boardwalks go over is wet and covered but you tend to see interesting things.

The trails vary quite a bit which is part of the appeal to me. Parts are lots of live oak, parts are mixed with pine, parts are patches of tall pines over palmettos, sometimes it's sandy, sometimes it's not. The trails can flood but they're dry more often than not.


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All images and data © 2016-2020 Andrew Thoreson unless otherwise noted.