Weedon Island Preserve
Pictures and Information
Weedon Island Preserve is in St. Petersburg, Fl in Pinellas county.
Map of Weedon Island Preserve
Weedon Island is on the north side of Tampa Bay. It lies between lower and upper Tampa bay. There is a great canoe / kayak launch at Weedon Island Preserve. It is at the end of the road into the preserve / park, next to the pier. There are two different spots to put your canoe or kayak in easily. There is also a fresh water hose if you want to rinse of your gear or boat.
You can pull your car or truck right up to the kayak launch and unload everything, and then park nearby. There is a map at the launch site that shows a kayak / canoe trail through the preserve. The kayak trail takes about 3 hours to paddle and the trail itself is marked with numbered signs to help keep you on the path. Most of the Weedon Island kayak trail takes you through narrow mangrove tunnels. Although the tunnels are narrow, there are plenty of places to turn around if you desire. It would be easy to get in and out of the kayak launch on any tide, but... most of the area is only 1 to 4 feet deep so it might not be as easy to get through the mangrove tunnels or work your way around the numerous mangrove islands on low tide. Weedon Island park gets packed on the weekends. Most of the area is sheltered water and since the water is mostly shallow, you won't find many boats in the places you want to paddle. The boats stay primarily in the marked channel and most of the area is a "no wake" zone.
Weedon Island Preserve has many mangrove islands of all sizes. There are also miles and miles of mangrove channels. Dolphin frequent the area and manatee are also common to see. Manatee typically don't go up far into the narrow mangrove channels, but you will see them regularly around the mangrove islands. Weedon Island is also a favorite fishing area among locals. Redfish in particular, move into the area in very large numbers in early fall. Aside from redfish, the preserve has great fishing for sea trout, flounder, sheepshead and more.
The preserve has many miles of walking trails. There is a paved walking path that runs through the preserve. There is also an elevated boardwalk that runs through the marshy and swamp areas in the park. The boardwalk leads to two different viewing towers that provide great views of the preserve as well as great views of Tampa bay. There is also a viewing platform that overlooks one of the saltwater ponds that connects to the main body of water via a mangrove channel. Plenty of shady seating areas are found throughout the park as well as drinking fountains.
Weedon Island (the island itself, not the area)
canoe / kayak launch
Below are pictures of Riviera Bay
Other misc. pics of Weedon
There are plenty of neat little isolated saltwater "ponds" like the one pictured below that have only a narrow mangrove channel leading to them.
Pictures of Weedon Island "park"