On the west shore of Lake Tarpon and its cove of Salmon Bay, A.L. Anderson Park provides a respite along the busy hum of US 19 in Tarpon Springs. Dedicated in 1966, it’s one of those parks that thousands of people whiz by every day and probably never stop to visit, with 135 acres of passive recreation and boater access to the lake.
Location: Tarpon Springs
Address: 39699 US 19 N, Tarpon Springs, FL
Restrooms: near the nature trail / boardwalk
Boat ramp (fee) open 5 AM – 10 PM.
Leashed pets welcome. There is a dog park on site where you can let your buddy off-leash.
The park hugs the shore of Lake Tarpon, offering plenty of picnic pavilions for big groups. On a weekday, it can be quiet, save for the boaters putting in and taking out at the slip.
A marked nature trail starts at the first pavilion on the left and leads you through a cypress swamp festooned with non-native but cheery philodendron. It leads to a boardwalk along the shores of Salmon Bay. Osprey sightings are common, as are alligators cruising the shallows.
The walk continues near the lakeshore, with side trails to private picnic pads amid the cypress, and leads you to a peninsula where cove and lake meet. On the hilltop above the lake, there are a cluster of large picnic pavilions available for rentals.