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.
There’s a beautiful new preserve to explore in the Plant City area. McIntosh Preserve opened in June and is already getting rave reviews from visitors. Consider checking it out this weekend!
Where is it?
McIntosh Preserve is north of I-4, east of Paul Buchman Highway. The address is:
There are 20 parking spaces near the trail head, in addition to an overflow lot.
There are no restrooms or any other amenities at the preserve so plan accordingly.
McIntosh Preserve stretches 363 acres. Fifty acres have been developed so far, with plans for more in the coming years.
There are currently 2.2 miles worth of trails. All are color coded on this map.
The blue trail leads to a 30 foot observation tower, which is the highlight of the park.
If you’re unable to climb the tower, there are video monitors at the bottom so everyone can appreciate the views. There’s also a small playground nearby.
“If you have your youngsters with you and they get a little bit bored, they’ve got something to do while you’re up in the tower,” said Jack Holland, Director of Parks & Recreation for City of Plant City.
Holland says you could see a variety of Florida wildlife, including alligators, snakes, birds, bobcat and even possibly Florida panther.
“We think we’ve got one in here, but we haven’t been able to photographically prove it yet,” he said.
Dogs are allowed, but must be leashed and cleaned up after.
When should I visit?
McIntosh Preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
While city officials have seen a good amount of visitors, they’re expecting even more once the weather cools down.
“We want people to come out and thoroughly enjoy this property,” said Holland. “It’s unique and it shows Florida as it was and hopefully we’ll keep it that way for the future.”
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!