Many of us are looking for ways to get 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 the Tampa Bay.
Take a trip to Eagle Lake Park in Largo this weekend. This hidden gem in the heart of Pinellas County has a paved trail that will have walkers of all ability levels breaking a sweat.
Where is it?
Eagle Lake Park is in Pinellas County. Put this address in your phone before you hit the road:
What can I find there?
Eagle Lake Park spans just over 160 acres. The main attraction is a nearly three mile paved loop that takes walkers, bikers and runners around two lakes and a retention pond. You’ll notice the scenery change as you explore.
“You can go from pinewood forest into oak canopies, and then into our wetlands in the back,” said Andrew Bianchi, Park Ranger at Eagle Lake Park. “It’s just a very entertaining trail.”
Those more adventurous will find a shell path on the south side of the property.
Bianchi describes the park as very safe and says rangers are constantly patrolling the trails.
Eagle Lake Park is a great spot for bird watching, but the gopher tortoises sometimes steal the show.
“Our big star are our gopher tortoises,” Bianchi said. “We have over 50 gopher tortoise burrows. And, this year we saw a lot of babies so we might have even more.”
Where should I park?
First-timers will find plenty of parking! Where you should park depends on what you want to do.
Those who want to use the dog park should take a left at the entrance and head for parking lot one (where shelter one is located). Dogs must remain leashed elsewhere in the park.
Bianchi suggests parking lot two (where shelter two and three are located) for those who want to get their steps in on the paved trail or enjoy the open field.
Parking lot three (near shelters four, five and six) is best for families who want to check out the playground and climbing tree.
When should I visit?
Eagle Lake Park is open from 7 a.m. to sunset. The park averages about 2,000 visitors a day. Expect it to be a little busier on weekends and holidays.
Get involved in Walking Club!
Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming #WalkingClub stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!