Park and Cooper's Bayou
|Location: Safety Harbor,
|Distance: 8 miles
from Philippe Park to Courtney Campbell Causeway.
|Atlas: Page 82 D-3
|Last Update: May 2006
||Canoe OK: No
- limited details.
This trip starts from Philippe Park in Safety Harbor. We immediately
turn south, heading toward the world-famous Safety Harbor Spa. If
you need pampering after a long day on the water, here's the place
to go with it's 189 rooms and 30,000 sqft spa. Prices including
room start at $170/day per person, double occupancy, so it's a little
on the expensive side. For those just visiting, there is a small
marina and sandy beach that makes a good place to take a break.
We continue south past Safety Harbor Spa and onto Cooper's Bayou.
This is another Pinellas County Park and part of the Bayshore Linear
Greenway System of trails. Keep aiming for the mangroves and Courtney
Campbell Causeway as you pass a number of big, beautiful homes on
the edge of Old Tampa Bay.
There are many mangrove passageways and my paddle partners of the
day, Hank and Everett, tell of a secret mangrove tunnel and bridge
leading from Cooper's Bayou to Old Tampa Bay. After much exploring
we found it, along with a hidden gem - a perfectly mowed, flat,
dry spot in the mangroves. Perfect for a picnic!
The return voyage to Safety Harbor is easy. After passing under
the hidden bridge, paddle north along the mangroves to open water.
Aim for that itty-bitty electrical tower 4 miles away. It's actually
hundreds of feet tall, but at this distance it looks tiny. If the
water is rough, you'd do better retracing your path instead of making
the open water crossing.
From the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Clearwater, turn north on
Bayshore Blvd (near Mc Mullen-Booth Rd). The road changes name to
Philippe Parkway. Continue north on Philippe. The entrance is on
the right, about 50 yards past Enterprise Road.
Philippe Park and Cooper's Bayou Photographs