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Weedon Island Preserve Route

Easy/Intermediate
 4.0 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A nice hike through Weedon Island Preserve to Tampa Bay.


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Map Key

4.6

Miles

7.4

KM

Point to Point

6' 2 m

High

1' 0 m

Low

22' 7 m

Up

21' 6 m

Down

0%

Avg Grade (0°)

1%

Max Grade (1°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Wildlife

Family Friendly Wildlife and view, also picnic table at the lookout point.

It is a reserve so no pets are allowed and you must stay on the trails.

Overview

This is a nice route through flatwoods and mangrove swamps along Tampa Bay.

Need to Know

Stop by the natural history center to see a 1,100 year old canoe found at the island.

Description

Start at a small parking lot off of Weedon Drive. From the parking lot, head east then stay right at the split of the Boy Scout Trail. You'll descend slightly along the dirt trail to follow the trail closer to the lake. Along the way, you'll cross several small bridges and go through mangroves swamps as you work your way around Boyscout Lake. After the first bridge, at the next junction stay right again to continue following the lake. At a junction about 0.5 miles into the hike, take a left to head eat on Boy Scout Trail Spur towards Lookout Point Trail.

At the junction with Lookout Point Trail, turn left which will take you on a berm through a massive mangrove swamp with a mangrove canopy above you, watch for a lot of wildlife in this area. The lookout point has great views and makes a nice picnic area. From here, head back along the berm and at the junction with Boy Scout Trail, stay left on the Lookout Point Trail and follow the signs for the center.

This next area to hike is a combination of three different trails including paved and boardwalk trails. At the picnic area and three-way junction, turn left to take the Bay Boardwalk which travels over the swamp and water. Take a left out on Bay Observation Platform Spur to the great lookout, then retrace your steps and carry on the Bay Boardwalk. At the end of the Bay Boardwalk, turn left onto Upland Trail, a paved path that leads toward the visitor center. Continue past the visitor center and take a left onto Tower Boardwalk where you'll go through more mangroves and have the option of going up the observation towers for some scenic views.

After finishing the Tower Boardwalk, you'll be back on the Upland Trail which takes you past what remains of what was once a waiting room of an airport. You stay on the paved Upland Trail which will turn into unpaved Lookout Point Trail. Continue on this to the junction with Boy Scout Trail Spur and turn left to head back to Boy Scout Trail. At the fork, turn left to wrap around the south side of Boyscout Lake.

The trail ends at Weedon Drive. To get back to the parking area, turn right and follow along the side of the road for a short distance.

Flora & Fauna

Mangroves, flatwoods (pine) live oak, wax myrtle, palms, critters include racoons, snakes, armadillo, tortoises, crab as well as a various birds including heron, spoonbills, ibis, and osprey.

History & Background

The island was added to the US National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and is named after a former owner of the island, Dr. Leslie Weedon.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kevin Roberts

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#3397

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#25

in Florida

#3,397

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2,156 Since Dec 29, 2017
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

A view atop the observation tower, Bartow energy plant in distance.
Dec 30, 2017 near Gandy, FL
Several small bridges help crossing on Boy Scout Trail.
Dec 29, 2017 near Gandy, FL
This berm under a mangrove canopy leads to lookout point.
Dec 30, 2017 near Gandy, FL
Upland paved trail near where the airfield was once located.
Dec 29, 2017 near Gandy, FL
Early morning view from Bay Boardwalk Trail.
Dec 30, 2017 near Gandy, FL
Early morning view of lake on Tower Boardwalk Trail.
Dec 30, 2017 near Gandy, FL

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Check-Ins

Sep 5, 2021
Yonatan Breiter
Jul 3, 2020
Shelly Ainsworth
Nov 16, 2019
Tony Young
Oct 26, 2019
Nathan Alderfer
Mar 22, 2019
Michael Fernandez
Nice hike through the mangroves with raised walkways. 4.7mi — 1h 15m
Mar 9, 2019
Matt Warner
Nov 16, 2018
Bonnie Kernan
we hiked the one board walk then I hiked the second board walk 4mi
Nov 10, 2018
Chantal Eagles