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.
The pandemic has driven many of us to explore new hobbies, experiment in the kitchen or even spend more time outside. For one St. Pete mother and her daughter, it meant going on a seven month journey to explore 150 St. Pete parks.
Amy George and Rachel Crozier have both lived in the city for less than five years. Tired of her route around the neighborhood and looking for something different, Crozier floated the idea of visiting all of the parks in St. Pete. Her mom expressed interest in joining her.
“And then the next day, we just started!” said Crozier.
Abercrombie Park was their first stop because it was first on the list in alphabetical order, but the pair quickly realized they needed to be more strategic to accomplish their goal.
“Let’s look at a map and try to plot out a route where we can see three or four parks and maybe get in between two and five miles,” said George.
That continued twice a week, nearly every week from July to February. Crozier even started using a spreadsheet to keep track of where they went and where they still needed to go. The mission took them to areas of St. Pete they’d never visited.
“It was always something different,” she said. “Every time we’d end up at a new park or end up in a new part of town.”
“It doesn’t even seem like you’re in St. Pete with the hills and the architecture,” said Crozier.
While technically outside of city limits, the park at Treasure Island Beach is listed on a map on the St. Pete Parks and Recreation website. That’s where the duo decided to visit last. It was a beautiful end to a long journey.
“We saw lots of parks, obviously, but in between, we saw lots of neighborhoods. Got a lot of ideas for places to visit post-pandemic!” said George.
Now, the two have been walking at some of parks they discovered during their journey that have fitness equipment, but they’re now plotting to visit some of the trails they’ve learned about through Walking Club.
Crozier says she recommends others try out their goal of visiting 150 St. Pete parks, even though it was challenging at times.
“It was really nice to do it with my mom so if you have an opportunity to get outside and exercise and also spend time with your family, take advantage of it,” said Crozier.
Join Walking Club!
Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming #WalkingClub stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!