Sitting at the base of busy US 19 in Clearwater, Moccasin Lake Nature Park preserves a lush patch of native forest and a stream for the public to enjoy. Centered on a popular nature center – which includes rehabilitated bald eagles, hawks, vultures, and owls – it’s an ideal place to take the kids for a gentle nature adventure.
Length: 1 mile
Lat-Long: 27.976233, -82.723817
Fees / Permits: free
Bug factor: low
Restroom: At the nature center
Address: 2750 Park Trail Lane, Clearwater, FL 33759
Summer hours: Thu – Sat 10-5 (was Tue-Sat). Additional days may be added to park hours during hiking season. Call (727) 793-2976 for more details, or to ask about rentals and education programs. For volunteer opportunities call (727) 562-4803.
Guided tours available. The trail system is a combination of boardwalk, pavement, and shellrock, suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. There are numerous benches along the route.
From McMullen Booth Rd, take Drew Rd west; from US 19, take Drew Rd east. At Fairwood Ave, turn north. Make a left on Park Trail Lane just after crossing the railroad tracks, and follow it to where it ends at the park.
Winding its way through an oak hammock, the mile-long trail system finds its way beneath the forest canopy to the edge of a dammed stream that overflows into a more natural fern-edged run through the forest. The Cypress Trail, a side spur, leads to a bluff overlook over a large lake, where the Brigham Dock offers an observation point for watching wading birds. The trail turns away from US 19, crossing long boardwalks to complete the loop. The nature center is full of fun activities for the kids to do, and creatures for them to see. There is a butterfly garden, an aviary, and a water tower with solar panels.