Many of us are looking for ways to remain active while also staying a safe distance away from others. That's why Sarah Phinney started a ‘Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails and parks across Tampa Bay.
If you're in the mood for a small park with a big park feel, look no further than Crews Lake Wilderness Park! It's a great place to explore without a plan. You don't have to worry about getting very lost because the park is fenced in!
Where is it?
The park is in northern Pasco County. Put this address in your phone:
There is no fee to get in. Dogs are allowed in designated areas but must be leashed.
What else is there to do?
There is a lot packed into this just over 100-acre park.
There are nature trails, primitive campsites, shelters and pavilions, as well as a short paved trail, fishing pier and dock, plus a cabin that is available for rent. It has three rooms and 12 beds, but there is no air conditioning at this time.
“It’s a real quaint, nice park, you can keep an eye on the kids," said David Jay, Park Site Supervisor at Crews Lake Wilderness Park. "Nothing is too immense, nothing is too big, but you still get that big park feel."
There used to be an observation tower at the park, but it was removed. A new ADA-accessible tower should be available a year from now.
Jay says the park is a great place to just explore. You don’t need to too concerned about following a particular trail because the park is fenced in via barbed wire.
“You’ll circle back to where your car is eventually,” he said.
Foxes, deer, bobcat, wild hogs and all kinds of birds have been spotted at the park.
Three barred owls, two babies and a mother, have been a popular draw for visitors lately.
“They’re not hanging out as much as they used to, but you might see em. They stay in the area,” said Jay.
He says morning is the best time to come if you want to try to see them.
What about train rides?
If you want to see the park in a different way, consider visiting on the second Saturday of each month.
The Central Pasco & Gulf Railroad offers free rides on their small trains.
“They’ll pull 25 to 30 people through the woods, no problem,” said Jay.
Aim to visit between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. if you want to catch a ride.
You can read more about The Central Pasco & Gulf Railroad here.
When should I visit?
Crews Lake Wilderness Park is open seven days a week from dawn until dusk.
Join Walking Club!
Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming #WalkingClub stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!