October 29, 2005
When you first pull in, you can either go straight or to the left.
You'll want to go both ways eventually, to explore all the park has to
offer. (No entrance fee, by the way, and plenty of parking.) Drive past
the boat ramp and park by the restrooms. You'll see plenty of picnic
tables with grills for use. From here, take the Peggy Park trail, an
easy mile-long trail on boardwalk and ground, next to gorgeous Lake Tarpon
and then Brooker Creek. I took a friend of mine who has lived in
Florida for many years, and she said, "Wow, this is the most
Florida-looking trail I've ever seen!" That's because the saw grass
palms are everywhere, with the water reflecting all the greenery.
you're done with this trail, walk over toward the boat ramp, to enjoy
the boardwalk over the lake. You can climb the observation tower for a
great view of Lake Tarpon. You'll find little picnic shelters right out
over the water - fantastic.
Once you're done here, you can drive over
to the other end of the park, where you are almost guaranteed to find
alligators for viewing. After you drive over the small bridge, park on
the left, and you'll see a large canal with footbridges over it. This
is where you will most likely see a gator. You should be cautious and
don't stand on the water's edge, but you can go over the footbridges
with no problem. This is where we take friends who want to see a gator
- we've never been disappointed.
On the right side of the road, there's
a larger lake with swinging benches to relax in, and lots of wildlife
(including gators) in the lake. Sit and swing a while - you'll spot
turtles, gators, egrets, and herons of all types.
From journal Fantastic Getaway to Tampa/Clearwater/St. Pete