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Boyd Hill is a city park that feels more like it's in the woods. There's a great education center and a nice display of (injured) raptors in an aviary. The park is basically a pine forest hiking trail next to the fairly large Lake Maggiore. If you walk the Lake Maggiore adjacent parts there are lots of wading birds, alligators, and some ducks as well boardwalks on the more swamp like section. The main hiking trails are a typical pine forest. It's in the city and I don't think there are deer there but you can see rabbit, racoon, and gopher tortoise fairly often.
Birding is great for the water birds but just typical for the forest portions. So lots of wading birds, some ducks, and then your typical chances of seeming birds that stop by pine forests. That said, the St.Petersburg peninsula is bird-heavy in general so maybe better than average forest.
We've see marsh rabbit, racoon, gopher tortoise, and alligators.
Great education center, water coolers on the trail on hot days (pretty amazing thing for them to do), picnic areas at entrance. Very nice.
The entrance is on the south end of the lake and you enter through the education center. From downtown go south on 4th or MLK and turn right on 45th ave S which becomes Country Club Way. It's on your right. If you see boat ramps you're at the wrong spot on the lake.
Great job! Also make it free during the week.
You could just check out the raptor aviary, the boardwalks, or hike up to 6 miles of trails. So pick your adventure time. An hour is usually enough to hit the highlights.
Boyd hill is fantastic considering it's an urban hike. You enter through the gift shop and you have to pay admission (also I think it's closed on Monday's). Then you walk past some injured raptors (hawks, owls, etc) in cages outside. Then there are more or less two hiking experiences. The main loop is a forest at first along the lake then into forest. It can get hot but they are brilliant in that they have water coolers out there. On the first part going counter clockwise there's first a wetlands boardwalk where we've seen some interesting birds. And a little further on is what I think is the best part - a little bridge to a little island. Always see alligators and gallinules here but also bittern and in winter seen some of the largest groups of coots. All kinds of heron etc. Also seen raccoon and marsh rabbit here. Other than summer being a bit too much and that it costs to get in - it's a great park.
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