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Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood of south St. Petersburg is a giant pocket of natural Florida. Some 245 acres of hardwood hammocks, sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, willow marsh and swamp woodlands surrounding Lake Maggiore make up Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.
An excursion to Boyd Hill makes a great family estuary exploration. This urban sanctuary which is owned and managed by the City of St. Petersburg offers visitors 6 miles of nature trails and boardwalks and ample opportunities for viewing the diversity of birds and critters that inhabit the area. You're sure to spot everything from herons and osprey to gopher tortoise and alligators! Wear sturdy shoes, a hat and bring plenty of water, and pack a picnic lunch if you have the time.
Boyd Hill's park rangers and volunteers present a fun-filled schedule of daily, weekly and monthly activities, programs and special events. For a good introduction to the property, hop aboard a tram tour which is offered daily for a small fee. Guided hikes and walks are held almost daily including a bird walk, wildflower walk, and night hikes.
Special family events present nature exploration themes such as Astronomy Night, Family Campfires, and Pioneer Nights.
Are you a birder? Boyd Hill is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail with more than 165 bird species spotted. A birds of prey aviary is home to 11 permanently injured birds of prey including an eagle, hawks and owls.
Check the monthly program listings at http://www.stpete.org/boyd to see what's coming up.