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Picnic Island

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT
Andrew Thoreson
Dec 2017
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Typical View (14)

Snapshots! (14)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? B
Birding C *
Wildlife C
Summer Heat D
Terrain B
Fun Hike Not Rated
Maintained B
Mosquitos B *
Biting Files A
Ticks A
NOTE: C+
NOTE: Fine if windy or sunny or winter
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 7409 Picnic Island Blvd., Tampa, FL, Hillsborough, USA, 33616

1) What It's Like

Municipal park on a peninsula in Tampa. It's mostly unique for being somewhat wild and having natural coastline including (very sheltered) beach that's inside of Tampa (though far south end of it). No trails unless you could paved ones for jogging. Fair amount of birds, dolphins around.

2) Kinds of Birds

Can be shorebirds, gulls, pelicans. Actually not a bad place for warblers and the like - it's the first land when flying from St.Pete across Tampa Bay. We've seen a lot of Loggerhead Shrikes here.

3) Wildlife

Good chance to see raccoons. Fair chance you'll see dolphins off coast - MAYBE manatees. If you wade in the water there's a decent amount of sea grass so you get the typical snails, crabs, interesting little things. This is possible anywhere in the south US at this point I think but I know they had a big killer bee hive out there years ago. I think 90% of the bees you run into in your garden etc are killer bees. They just don't act any different unless you threaten their hive. So surprising wildlife considering it's on a very urban peninsula.

4) Amenities

Bathrooms, exercise devices, paved areas, narrow but sort of long beach, nice sunsets, a fishing dock. Big parking areas.

5) Directions

Easiest - just look at my map coordinates / address above under the little map graphic. OR:

To get there go south on Westshore Blvd until it turns into Commercial st - that's where that pretty building is. That might change names to Port Tampa Dr as it curves a bit forward so if you see that don't assume you somehow got off the road. Turn onto Picnic Island Blvd. It twists around and ends up at the park after a swing to the left. You'll be tempted to keep going straight at one point but that's the industrial facility. 2 or 3 parking lots - I'd say go to the end to have better walking/birding experience.

6) Time Requirements

It's not that big. You could stop for 10 or stay for 40. I think you'd be walking in circles to stay longer.

Experience

If you drive to the southeastern extreme of the south Tampa peninsula you start to get - not rural - but areas where trees are allowed to grow. There's what was a little town - a cool building that used to be I think a city hall or something but now it's a library. Then you start to see some industrial stuff. There is some kind of industrial thing there - it think it has to do with petroleum processing. If you go the wrong way and see pipes go over the road and a serious guard shack blocking the road then that is that. There's a port and train tracks - both of which seem like they used to be used often but now not as much.


So after that no so lovely nature filled intro you get to this park and it is pretty nice. Why do we only get nice parks to hide things that people don't want to live next to?


Anyhow - the ocean side has that narrow beach. The south side has a dock and if you follow a little trail you get to a sheltered area of water and mangroves where you sometimes see birds. Most of the birds you end up seeing if you just walk north to south through the field(s) and trees.

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