In 23 acres along the Gulf of Mexico, Anclote Gulf Park packs a lot into its ribbon of waterfront.
The park’s fishing pier is its biggest draw. A picnic area gives families a place to enjoy a meal outdoors, and paddlers have a place to launch from.
One corner of the park is a dog park with separate areas for large and small dogs, and a dog agility playset.
Hikers are here for the boardwalks, which offer views across the Gulf of Mexico and a connection to adjacent Key Vista Nature Park.
Resources for exploring the area surrounding Anclote Gulf Park
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Length: 1.1 mile round-trip
Trailhead: 28.1927, -82.7861
Address: 2305 Baillies Bluff Rd, Holiday, FL 34691
Restroom: Near the pier and kayak launch
Land manager: Pasco County
Open daily dawn to dusk. Fishing pier open 24/7.
A dog park is provided in one corner of the park. Pets and bicycles not permitted on boardwalk.
From US 19 in New Port Richey, follow Moog Road west to Straber Memorial Hwy. Continue south to the T intersection, and turn left onto Ballies Bluff Rd. Pass the entrance to Key Vista Nature Park before reaching the park entrance on the right a mile later.
The parking area at Anclote Gulf Park is centrally located between the major points of interest for a walk in the park, allowing you to round-trip in both directions.
To the south, the walkway leads past the picnic pavilions and restrooms and makes a turn towards the Gulf of Mexico at the kayak launch.
The paved path parallels the waterway, with a side pier just before the sidewalk turns to boardwalk.
Walk straight ahead at the junction to reach the observation deck on the Gulf of Mexico, a popular spot for watching the sun set over Anclote Key.
That barrier island protects this sheltered basin known as the Anclote Anchorage, why there is minimal wave action here, and no beach.
Return to the junction and make a right to walk out to the end of the pier, which is always busy with people fishing.
The view back along the coastline is worth the walk, with mangrove flats on the water’s edge and tall pines behind them.
A round-trip from the parking area out to this scenic corner of the park is 3/4 mile.
Head in the opposite direction along the sidewalk past the picnic shelters to reach the beginning of the boardwalk that connects to Key Vista Park.
It provides an elevated walk over coastal habitats that can get inundated during high tides and also after a heavy rain.
Crossing the outflow of a brackish pond, it comes to an overlook point towards a natural shoreline on the Gulf.
A straightaway follows, leading towards the pine flatwoods.
The east-facing side of the boardwalk has a thicket of mangroves with the pine forest rising behind them.
When you reach the second observation deck, stairs lead down off it into Key Vista Nature Park.
This is the turnaround point for walking 1.1 miles in Anclote Gulf Park.
It’s only a quarter mile round-trip extra to continue ahead to climb the observation tower at Key Vista Nature Park.
If you add on the exterior loop hike at Key Vista, you can hike 2.6 miles between the two interconnected parks.
This trail system interconnects with Key Vista Nature Park
See our photos of Anclote Gulf Park
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
A place to play Robinson Crusoe for a day or overnight, Anclote Key Preserve State Park is an offshore gem in the Gulf of Mexico made up of four islands within sight of Tarpon Springs
Along the Pinellas Trail, Wall Springs Park showcases a historic spring and mangroves along the Gulf of Mexico
Along busy US 19 in Tarpon Springs, hugs the western shore of Lake Tarpon, offering plenty of picnic pavilions along a boardwalk following the cypress-lined shore.
Our thanks to Al Force (FT Class of 2015) for on-the-ground research and photos to help us bring our trail information up to date.