Originally a zoo and botanical garden, the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is a 245-acre protected area that has since come to include natural habitats and wild tropical landscapes. The Preserve is located in south St. Petersburg along the shores of Lake Maggiore and is home to the Lake Maggiore Environmental Education Center.
From the outer Main Trail, there are five side trails, mostly loops, which showcase specific habitat. They include Swamp Woodlands Trail, Willow Marsh Trail, Lake Maggiore Trail, Scrub Island Trail, and Pine Flatwoods Trail.
Because of the overlap of several key loop trails, there are many different ways you can hike the trails. Most of the trails are paved, and virtually all are wheelchair-accessible. Bikers share the trail on the designated bike path.
Birds of Prey Program
The Preserve provides a safe, healthy environment for permanently injured, non-releasable birds of prey (BOP). These birds are cared for at the Preserve as Wild Avian Ambassadors for environmental education programs given by park rangers and Avian Education Stewards (BOP volunteers). Avian Education Steward Volunteers help care for the birds as well as educate the public about their place in nature and what they need to survive in the wild.
Lake Maggiore Environmental Education Center
The Environmental Education Center offers a host of great indoor and outdoor activities for visitors all ages. It is a peaceful oasis that is home to over 60 species of amphibians and reptiles, over 50 species of butterflies and over 165 species of birds. Due to this strong diversity of birds, the Preserve has been named to the Great Florida Birding Trail.
Terry Tomalin Campground
The Preserve has recently undergone improvements to enhance visitors’ experiences, including the new Terry Tomalin Campground, St. Pete’s first public primitive family campground; Hammock Hall a multipurpose building that provides rental space and programming opportunities; and a trail expansion. The 12-site campground’s name honors the late Terry Tomalin, a former Tampa Bay Times outdoors writer who supported the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve through several service projects. The campground is open to both individuals and groups.
Pinellas Pioneer Settlement
The Pioneer Settlement is operated by the St. Petersburg Parks & Recreation Department in cooperation with the Pioneer Settlement, a nonprofit, volunteer organization whose mission is to authentically recreate the life styles of Pinellas County pioneers. Located in Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, the Settlement is a living history museum where visitors can experience the skills, crafts and social customs of late 19th century life in west central Florida.
For more information about the Preserve, its menu of programs and activities, ways to volunteer or to make a donation, call (727) 893-7326.
Great Neighborhoods in South St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg RE/MAX Metro realtor Estelia Mesimer says there are eleven unique neighborhoods located in south St. Petersburg – Coquina Key, Bahama Shores, Bayou Shores, Old Southeast, Historic Roser Park, South Pasadena, Gulfport, Warehouse District, Pinellas Point, Broadwater and Lakewood Ranch.
If any of these areas interest you or if you want to learn more about them, call/email or text Estelia. She is always available to help.
St. Petersburg Communities – If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one of them and are thinking of selling, call Estelia today at 727.686.2859
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol