Overlooking the serene waters of Tampa Bay, Maximo Park can be a quiet escape or bustling outdoor space depending on the day of the week.
This site has been inhabited for thousands of years, and artifacts have been found among shell middens in the area.
The park offers two ramps for launching powered watercraft, a kayak launch, disk golf course, picnic shelters, and a large playground.
A one-mile ADA accessible paved trail meanders through the park in two loops, providing spectacular views of the coastal habitat.
Resources for exploring the area
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Location: St. Petersburg
Length: 1.4 mile loop and round-trip
Trailhead: 27.710097, -82.682707
Address: Sunshine Skyway Ln. S and Pinellas Point Dr. S.
Land manager: City of St. Petersburg
Open 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
From the interchange of Interstate 275 and the Pinellas Byway, head east on 54th Ave S for 0.2 miles, then turn right onto 31st St S. In 0.7 mi, turn right onto Pinellas Point Dr S, continuing under the I-275 overpass into the entrance to the park.
Starting at the beachside parking area near the playground, follow a paved walkway eastward along the bay, towards a deeply shaded stand of trees.
Clear, calm waters lap the shoreline as seagulls hover in currents of sea breeze, occasionally calling to one another.
Meandering through a subtropical jungle of cabbage palms and gnarled oak trees, the pathway passes a few picnic shelters.
Breaking into the open, it reveals an impressive waterside observation tower.
Gently rocking sailboats bob in the shallow waters of the bay, as various wading birds gather on Indian Key in the distance.
From the tower, a lengthy boardwalk leads into a thick stand of palm trees.
Follow the boardwalk, turning left at a set of stairs before eventually joining the paved path again.
Staying to the right as the walkway leads up a small hill, continue on the trail while it crosses the main road.
It opens to a wide, grassy field where disk golfers fling their disks towards targets situated along the course.
Pine trees become more prominent, with numerous branches extending outward into lush green domes of needles.
Palmettos line the path as it continues to an intersection at 0.4 mile where a short loop begins on the north side of the park.
Traversing an open area dotted with large pines, the trail ventures towards a wide canal with dense tree cover along the shoreline.
At the water’s edge, trailside picnic tables offer a cool resting spot in the shade.
The loop ends in 0.2 mile, joining the main trail as it leads southward and crosses back over the entrance road.
Immediately after crossing the road, make a right turn onto the south loop.
Curious squirrels linger near the abundant picnic areas as the trail crisscrosses the disk golf course, on the lookout for stray snacks.
You reach the parking area at one mile, but can explore further by heading westward along the shoreline towards the boat ramps.
A paved path leads past the kayak launch and a covered pavilion, before ending at a small fishing dock nestled in a cluster of mangroves in 0.2 mile.
Adding the round-trip to this beauty spot results in a 1.4 mile hike.
A walk through Maximo Park
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Along an environmentally significant estuary of Boca Ciega Bay, Clam Bayou Nature Preserve offers well-established trails with several overlooks and a kayak launch
Once a zoo in St. Petersburg, Boyd Hill Park has 3 miles of trails looping through a mosaic of natural habitats and tropical landscapes along Lake Maggiore.
A lush oasis on St. Petersburg’s Tampa Bay waterfront, the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum features a bounty of palm species in a small space