Typical view [?]
NOTE: C but it always pays off
NOTE: Not mammals - alligators and fish
NOTE: B+, pretty shaded.
NOTE: I think this is in the range of where spraying takes place
LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Great nature trail along boardwalks in St.Pete - easy for anyone and guaranteed to see birds/fish/wildlife worth a stop.
Usually you'll see just gallinules, wading birds, anhinga, and maybe grackle. Sometimes you'll see forest birds fly through and a bit more often you'll see random ducks. So it's not great for seeing exciting new birds but it is good for always seeing some birds and seeing them fairly close.
You can pretty much always see large fish in the water - unusual really. You'll almost always be able to see an alligator and turtles.
Bathrooms, picnic tables, some short ground hiking trails that are skippable but the boardwalk is great.
It may seem like you're in the wrong place because it's down a residential street. Also getting there off the interstate you often have to go in a big loop to get there.
I'd play on 30-40 minutes. You could spend a couple hours taking your time and also doing trails. You could stop briefly and just see the river/canal at the start for 5.
We stop here often because it always delivers enough to be worth the trip - usually gallinules and just general wildlife/birds. When you arrive you cross a canal/river. There you'll usually see gallinules, wading birds, and maybe a duck or two. Also if you look into the water you'll likely see gar or other large freshwater fish - the water is pretty clear. Pay attention and you might see an alligator here.
Most of the boardwalk you just walk through wetlands with ferns and trees - other than (rarely) birds flying through this it's just nice to be in nature. A negative though is that you'll likely hear gunshots the entire time from the gun range across the pond from the ending. Part way in when can still spot the river through the trees you'll fairly often see night herons and anhinga in the trees on your side of the river/canal.
The boardwalk forks but that just goes to hiking trails.
Part way out there's a small overlook on the canal/river again. There's not as much here as the beginning but its' the same kind of thing.
When you reach the end there's a double level observation area looking over the pond/lake. The berm/hill on the far side is the gun range - you learn to ignore it. You generally don't see much out in the lake other than maybe an alligator slowly swimming. Generally you'll see stuff in the plants near the shore you're on. It's rare to be surprised at Sawgrass but we did see our second Bittern here.
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