Pinellas County

Rivers - Launch Sites - Trips


Pinellas County

Anclote River
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Pg 82, C2
Directions
1. St. Luke's Eye Institute - Take US 19 North. The Eye Institute is on the right hand side immediately after crossing the Anclote River bridge.
2. Alt US 19 Bridge - Take Alt US19 North, past Tarpon Springs. Immediately after crossing the Anclote River, take a left on Oscar Hill Rd. There is a concrete boat ramp about two buildings from Alt US 19, right next to the boat storage/ repair business.
3. Anclote River Park - This park is at the mouth of the Anclote River. Take Alt US19 North, past Tarpon Springs, over the Anclote River. About 2 miles after passing over the Anlcote River, take a left on New Anclote Rd, a left on Wacassassa, a right on Seminole which leads you to the park entrance on the left.
Sights to See
The lower part of the river, close to the mouth, is very busy with many commercial and residential boats. Upriver, while there is not an abundance of wildlife some egrets and herons can be found on the waterway close to the mangroves. This river winds it's way through sawgrass and multiple branches & small bays and it is fairly easy to take a wrong turn and get lost.
Suggested Trips
1. Anclote Key - This key is about 3 miles off shore. There are shore birds and a famous lighthouse on the key. There is extremely heavy boat traffic in this area, so we recommend avoiding the weekends if at all possible.
2. Anclote River - Suggest that you launch above US 19 for the best trip up river. here.



Weedon Island
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Weedon Island Very small rocky mud flat
Bathrooms and water at launch site.
Weedon Island Nature Trail
Pg 91, B1
Directions
Take Gandy Road (US Rt 92 orCounty 600) to San Martin Blvd. If you are going East on Gandy, San Martin is about 1/2 mile past the dog track. If you are going West, San Martin is about 2.5 miles after you get off the Gandy Bridge. San Martin turns into Weedon Dr. Follow Weedon Dr until it dead ends at a small traffic circle. Launch your boat to the left of the concrete walkway.
Sights to See
The Weedon Island nature trail is the sight to see. It takes you through a mangrove swamp, offering you a picnic spot about 1/2 way through. There are usually a significant number of birds to see. Cautions: Watch the tide charts to make sure that you do not go at low tide. On weekends, the trail can get busy.
Suggested Trips
The four mile Weedon Island Nature Trail is a highlight of kayaking in Pinellas County.



Anderson Park
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Launch Site Address Type & Amenities Places Close By Gazetteer
39699 US Hwy 19 N Tarpon Springs
727-943-4085
Low dock or cement boat ramp Toilets & water are several hundred yards from the put-in.

Tarpon Lake Tarpon Turtle Rest.
Pg 82, C3
Directions
Anderson Park is on Hwy 19 N between Klosterman and Tarpon Road. It is about 1 mile south of Tarpon Road (take left into park) and 1/2 mile north of Klosterman (take right into park). After entering the Park, take a left in about 50 yards to get to the launch site.
Sights to See
Anderson Park is on Tarpon Lake - which is an urban lake almost completely surrounded by houses. The best thing about the lake is that it is close by and a fairly quiet paddle, except on weekends (which are quite busy and noisy). A few small alligators and some Florida birds live in the vegetation surrounding the lake. The "Tarpon Turtle" Restaurant is on the lake and has great grouper sandwiches.
Suggested Trips
Tarpon Lake is about 5 miles long and 1.5 to 2 miles wide. We suggest paddling along the shore line to see the lake houses and local wildlife. There are two parks on the lake - Anderson & John Chestnut. If you choose you can paddle from one park to the other (about 4 miles one way). The Weston Hotel has a dock which goes into the lake. For lunch, we recommend the Tarpon Turtle Restaurant - on the north west shore of the lake.



Boca Ciega Park
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Launch Site Address Type & Amenities Places Close By Gazetteer
12410 74th Ave N. (Old Oakhurst Rd) Seminole 727-588-4882 A small canal which goes through the mangroves to the Intercoastal. Water is close by & toilets can be found in the park.

Spoil Islands, Bay Pines Park
Pg 90, B2
Directions
This park is on the Intercoastal (about 3 miles West of Bay Pines/ War Memorial Park). Take Park Blvd to 125 st N. and go South. At 74th Ave N. (Old Oakhurst Rd - which goes East & West) take a left. About 100 yards on the right is the park entrance. NOTE: The launch site is affected by tides. Not certain that you can launch at low tide.
Sights to See
If you head Southeast along the shore line you will see beautiful homes. Birds and fish are fairly plentiful. We saw several dolphins. During the weekend there will be a lot of motorboats, producing a lot of wakes & very confusing water. Best done on a weekdays.
Suggested Trips
Suggest that you head Southeast to Bay Pines/ War Memorial Park where you can picnic.



Dunedin Causeway
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Launch Site Address Type & Amenities Places Close By Gazetteer
West Dunedin Sandy beach Toilets & water within 50 yards of launch site
Caladesi Island Honeymoon Island Spoil Islands Three Rooker Bar Pg 82, D2
Directions
The causeway connects Dunedin to Honeymoon Island. As Curlew Rd (going West) crosses Alt US 19 it becomes Dunedin Causeway. About 1.5 miles after it becomes Dunedin Causeway, on the left you will find a kayak rental shop. Park on the beach to launch your kayak.
Sights to See
The great thing about Dunedin is the variety of places to go once you launch your kayak. There is some wildlife in the area (birds, porpoises and fish). The area is extremely busy on weekends with power boats & jet skis.
Suggested Trips
1. Caladesi Island - The island is only several miles from Dunedin Causeway. At the center of the island, on the Intercoastal Waterway side, is a marina which docks ferries full of sunbathers. To the left of the marina is a short trail (about a mile long) through the mangroves.
2. Honeymoon Island - At the end of Dunedin Causeway is Honeymoon Island. It has great beaches and some bird life.
3. Spoil Islands - In the Intercoastal Waterway, there are a number of "Spoil Islands" built up when the waterway was dredged a number of years ago. These small islands are great as stop off places for lunch and a brief rest to stretch your legs.
4. Three Rooker Bar - This is a sand bar directly North of Honeymoon Island, which used to be part of Honeymoon Island, until a storm re-arranged it. It is a barren strip of sand which nests birds and is used by some kayakers to practice their various paddle strokes & techniques.


Ft. DeSoto Park
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Launch Site Address Type & Amenities Places Close By Gazetteer
3500 Pinellas Bayway S. Tierra Verde 727-866-2484 Sandy beaches, you can launch from many sites within the park Toilets & water usually within 150 yards of most launch sites Mullet Key Egmont Key Shell Island Pg 90, C3
Directions
The park is an island in the Gulf, very close to the Sunshine Bridge. Take I-75 South to Pinellas Bayway (which only goes West). About 3 miles after you get on the Bayway, it turns South (left) The road is marked with signs towards Ft. Desoto. About 5 miles you should be entering Ft. Desoto Park. You should note that the Bayway toll is $0.50 and the park toll is $0.35.
Sights to See
This park is a favorite of kayakers because of the many great beaches from which you can launch a kayak, the picnic facilities (shelters, toilets, water) are close and there are many places to visit once launched. There is a fair amount of wildlife in the area. As you would expect, the weekends are quite busy at this park. However, it is so large, it does not get overly crowded.
Suggested Trips
1. Canoe Trail - The canoe trail meanders through mangrove trees.
2. Egmont Key - (about 2 miles from Ft. Desoto) This island has an old WWII fort which is mostly washed out to sea. Be careful of the large boats in the area and the changing weather.
3. Shell Island - A small island next to Mullet Key (on which Ft Desoto sits).


Fred Howard Park
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Launch Site Address Type & Amenities Places Close By Gazetteer
1700 Sunset Dr Tarpon Springs 727-943-4081 Beach launch Toilets & water close by

Anclote Key Anclote River Three Rooker Bar
Pg XX, C1
Directions
As you go West on Klosterman you will cross Alt US 19. About 1/2 mile past US19 take a right on Clarion (the rest of the route is marked by signs to Howard Park), take a left on Curlew Place, a right on Florida Ave, a left on Sunset Dr. The park is about 1/2 mile on the right. To get to the beach, drive through the park, across the causeway and onto a small island.
Sights to See
From the sandy beach you can launch to see islands, rivers or mangroves. There are egrets and herons along the way. The Anlcote River has heavy boat traffic, especially on weekends.
Suggested Trips
1. Anclote Key - The key is about 3 miles away from Howard Park. There is heavy boat traffic coming from the mouth of the Anclote River (on weekends it is quite heavy). The key itself has a famous lighthouse, sea birds and white sandy beaches.
2. Three Rooker Bar -
3. Anclote River - If you want to see the Anlcote River, we suggest that you launch further up the river.


John Chestnut Park
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2200 East Lake Rd Palm Harbor 727-669-1951 Concrete boat ramp Toilets & water within 50 yards of launch site.
Tarpon Lake Tarpon Turtle Rest
Pg 83, D3
Directions
The park is located on East Lake Rd (Rt 611). If you are going North on Mc Mullen-Booth Rd it turns into East Lake Rd. The park entrance is about 2 miles north of Tampa Rd. If you are going South, it is about 1.5 miles South of Lansbrook Dr. Once entering the park, take the first left to the boat launch area.
Sights to See
John Chestnut Park is on Tarpon Lake - which is an urban lake almost completely surrounded by houses. The best thing about the lake is that it is close by and a fairly quiet paddle, except on weekends (which are quite busy and noisy). A few small alligators and some Florida birds live in the vegetation surrounding the lake.
Suggested Trips
Tarpon Lake is about 5 miles long and 1.5 to 2 miles wide. We suggest paddling along the shore line to see the lake houses and local wildlife. There are two parks on the lake - Anderson & John Chestnut. If you choose you can paddle from one park to the other. The Weston Hotel has a dock which goes into the lake. For lunch, we recommend the Tarpon Turtle Restaurant it has great grouper sandwiches - on the north west shore of the lake.


Phillippe Park
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2525 Phillippe Pkwy Safety Harbor 727-669-1947 Sandy beach (at South End) & concrete boat ramp Toilets & water are several hundred yards away
Cooper's Bayou Safety Harbor Bay Double Branch River
Pg 82, D3
Directions
If you are heading West on Courtney Campbell Causeway, turn right on Bayshore (one block before Mc Mullen-Booth Rd). At the stop sign, the road changes name to Phillippe Parkway. Continue straight thru the stop sign. When you see the first stop light (not blinking light) at Enterprise Rd, the park entrance is 50 yards on the right.
Sights to See
This is a beautiful park with extremely large oak trees, making it a great place to picnic. For an urban launch site, there are ample birds along the shore line. During the week and early on weekends, the area is fairly quite and offers protected waters. At one end of the park is a concrete boat ramp and at the other end a sandy beach.
Suggested Trips
From the park launch site you can go in three directions.
1. North will take you towards the Oldsmar Bridge (Rt 580). In the Northeast corner of this part of the bay, you will find a Tiki Bar & Restaurant (slightly North of the large condominiums).
2. South will take you past Safety Harbor Spa and the city harbor. If you continue South towards Courtney Campbell Causeway, the bird life is plentiful if you stay close to the shore into what is called Cooper's Bayou.
3. East will take you toward the old power plant and into Mobbly Bay. From Mobbly Bay you can travel up the Double Branch Creek (Upper Tampa Bay Park is located on the creek).


Seminole Lake Park
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Launch Site Address Type & Amenities Places Close By Gazetteer
10015 Park Blvd Seminole 727-549-6156 Sandy boat ramp Toilets & water are in the park
Seminole Lake Pg 90, B2
Directions
Go East on Park Blvd (Rt 694) from US Hwy 19. About 1/2 mile past Starkey Rd, take a right into the park. Or you can go West on Park Blvd from Seminole Blvd (Alt Rt US 19). Immediately after crossing the Seminole Lake Bridge, take a left into the park. Drive through the park to the boat ramp. At the boat ramp, off to the left (facing the concrete ramps), is a small sandy ramp for launching.
Sights to See
Seminole Park is on Seminole Lake - which is an urban lake almost completely surrounded by houses. The best thing about the lake is that it is close by and a fairly quiet paddle, except on weekends (which are quite busy and noisy). A few small alligators and some Florida birds live in the vegetation surrounding the lake.
Suggested Trips
Seminole Lake is about 3 miles long and 1/4 to 1/2 miles wide. We suggest paddling along the shore line to see the lake houses and local wildlife. For lunch, we recommend the Cajun Cafe which is on the nearby Cross Bayou (Park Ave next to the Flea Market).


War Memorial Park (Bay Pines)
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9600 Bay Pines Blvd St. Petersburg 727-549-6165 Soft sandy beach. Toilets & water close by
Cross Bayou Long Bayou Cajun Cafe
Directions
The park is next to the Veterans Hospital. Go South on Seminole Blvd and turn left onto Bay Pines Blvd (Rt 595). After going about 1 mile, turn right into the park. Or you can go East on Tyrone Blvd. After crossing the bridge, turn left into the park. After entering the park, drive the the far end of the park which has a hand launch beach area, excellent for launching kayaks.
Sights to See
There are some bird sanctuaries close to the launch point. These small islands have wicked oyster beds around them. Since this area is heavily built up, there are a lot of fine homes along the waterfront to view.
Suggested Trips
Directly East of the launch site is an island which is a bird sanctuary. Other trips include:
1. North: A trip up Cross Bayou will lead you to Cajun Cafe. A several mile paddle.
2. South: Along the Intercoastal you can view fine homes along the waterway.
3. West: Along the Intercoastal, you can view fine homes along the waterway or go though one of the passes out into the Gulf.


Last Update: 10/15/2006