Donated by to the city by members of his family, George McGough Nature Park is named after a conservationist who served as the mayor of Largo.
Preserving a variety of ecosystems along the Intracoastal Waterway, this property abounds with opportunities to learn about Florida’s natural habitats.
A recycled-tire loop trail provides an easy hike less than a mile in length, with side paths and boardwalks to explore.
Animal exhibits are on display at the nature center, where friendly volunteers are eager to answer questions about plants, animals, and the outdoors.
Resources for exploring the area
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Length: 0.8 mile loop
Trailhead: 27.881937, -82.840918
Address: 11901 146th St N, Largo
Restrooms: Yes, inside the nature center
Land manager: City of Largo
Open 9 AM to 5 PM. No pets permitted.
From the intersection of SR 19 ALT and SR 60 in Clearwater, head south on SR 19 ALT for 4.6 miles before turning right onto Ulmerton Rd. Continue for 3.8 miles, then turn right at 146th St N. The parking area is on the left after 400 feet.
At the nature center entrance, turtles bask along the edge of a small pond that is one of the most popular attractions in the park.
Small cups of food are available, and folks gather to watch the turtles bob, gobbling up treats.
A padded walkway winds around the left side of the building towards an open area with picnic tables, a pavilion, and stage for presentations.
At an intersection of paths, turning to the right leads behind the building to an impressive exhibit featuring dozens of birds of prey.
As the pathway meanders away from the nature center, it passes a pollinator garden filled with flowering plants, many of which are native.
Continuing along the peculiarly cushioned surface made of recycled tires, the main trail curves around a playground before entering a dense subtropical jungle.
Palmettos line the corridor alongside clusters of tall coffee plants under a shady canopy of cabbage palms.
As the hammock transitions to flatwoods, sunlight filters onto a trailside bench through needles of thick, gnarled pine trees.
Reaching a trail crossing at 0.3 mile, the padded section continues to the east where another pathway leads towards a boardwalk into the salt marsh.
For a scenic view of the intracoastal waterway, head straight down this mangrove-lined wooden walkway as it extends for nearly two-hundred feet over tranquil waters.
Leaving the water, turn left at an intersection to remain on the boardwalk as it travels through an oak hammock.
Curtains of Spanish moss sway in coastal breezes, suspended by an array of branches arching over the elevated walkway.
At a half mile, the boardwalk ends and the trail enters a mesic hammock carpeted with ferns.
Canopies of oak and cabbage palms shade a sandy path for a quarter mile before you reach the main padded trail again.
High-pitched chirps of the resident bald eagle might be heard nearby as the loop concludes in a tenth of a mile at the nature center.
The building houses educational displays alongside exhibits of live animals and is certainly worth a visit if the center is open.
A virtual walk in the woods at George McGough Nature Park
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
John R. Bonner Nature Park
A hidden gem surrounded by neighborhoods, John R. Bonner Nature Park offers excellent birding opportunities along short loop trails and a scenic boardwalk.
Eagle Lake Park
Now an urban forest in the heart of Pinellas County, Eagle Lake Park is the legacy of the Taylor family, early citrus growers who helped to found Largo
Florida Botanical Gardens
Walk through the garden gates into a wonderland of sensory stimulation. With nearly 180 acres in the heart of Largo, the Florida Botanical Gardens is a place for peaceful immersion.
An accessible network of paved trails circles Walsingham Lake, offering a variety of views of open water and forested woodlands along an easy walk.