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Walking Club: Exploring Largo Central Park Nature Preserve

Walking Club: Exploring Largo Central Park Nature Preserve
Posted at 9:13 AM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 08:26:09-05

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 'Sarah's Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails and parks across Tampa Bay.

Members of Sarah’s Walking Club have been flocking to Largo Central Park Nature Preserve over the past few months. Find out why!

Where is it?

Largo Central Park Nature Preserve is tucked away, south of East Bay Drive. The address is:

150 Highland Ave N
Largo, FL 33770

It can sometimes be confused with Largo Central Park, located west of the preserve.

What’s there?

Largo Central Park Nature Preserve stretches just over 30 acres. There are boardwalks and a 3/4 mile paved trail.

One of the most popular areas is the boardwalk around the three acre lake. A pregnant alligator drew visitors to the park recently.

“She was sitting in one specific spot right off the boardwalk for about three months and now that the baby gators have hatched, she’s still there, but she’s out hunting,” said Taylor Kahns, Largo Central Park Nature Preserve Supervisor. “She’s got a lot weight she’s gotta put back on.”

The preserve is also popular for birding, especially during the fall and spring migrations.

“It’s a major stopping point on the Audubon trail,” he said.

By the way, fishing is now allowed at the park because of environmental reasons.

Visitors will also find boardwalks through a wetlands area, as well as a two story observation tower.

Additionally, a miles long kayak and canoe route begins at the preserve.

“You can get from our bank here, all the way out to the intracoastal,” said Kahns. “You can make it out to the bay and back. It’s roughly a day trip, depending on how fast you want to go.”

An important reminder

Khans want visitors to remember that feeding wildlife is not permitted. It can be especially troublesome with alligators and otters. Kahns warns that teaching an association between people and food can have dangerous consequences.

“These animals are in their normal, natural environment, they are more than capable of fending for themselves,” he said. “They do not need your help.”

Join Walking Club!

Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming Walking Club stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!

You can also keep up with Sarah on Instagram and Twitter