Florida has far more to offer than gorgeous beaches and ice cream parlors. Indeed, our state boasts many amazing natural areas that are waiting to be explored! If you want to learn more about Florida’s ecosystems, drive out of the city for a day and head to Brooker Creek Preserve. It’s one of the largest natural areas in Pinellas County and offers forested wetlands with rich flora and fauna. So, don’t think twice! Pack your camera and let us guide you through all of the amazing things you can see here. Be sure to download our free Vacation Guide for recommendations for local restaurants, events, shops, museums, and outdoor adventures in the area!
Explore Florida’s Ecosystems at Brooker Creek Preserve
The Largest Natural Area in Pinellas County
Brooker Creek Preserve is one of the grandest natural areas you can see in this part of Florida. In fact, it offers more than 8,700 acres of wetlands and pine forests! Discover the beauty of wild Florida through four different ecosystems, including:
Forested Wetlands. The creek system counts 13 meandering channels composed of rainwater, which all merge into Lake Tarpon. This area is full of swamps that retain the water during storms.
Oak Hammocks. Marvel at the sandhills and towering oaks, and get ready to spot some white-tailed deer and wild turkeys!
Pine Flatwoods. Discover blankets of saw palmetto, native grasses, and endless slash pines.
Cypress Domes: To see a true Florida landscape, visit the cypress domes. The bald and black cypresses are planted in the marsh and rise up to the blue sky. These swamps are inhabited by a variety of frogs, marsh rabbits, squirrels, owls, dragonflies, and spiders.
The preserve is open daily from 7 a.m. until one hour before sunset. (The time is posted at the entrance.) Admission is free, but donations are welcome!
Guided Tours and Hiking Trails
The best way to experience Brooker Creek Preserve is to take a guided tour. Follow a staff member or trained volunteer along the preserve’s trail and discover a variety of unique wonders. The four-mile trail remains in its natural state to minimize the impact on the land, which gives guests an authentic experience in nature. Be sure to wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes (you may encounter areas of deep standing water) as well as pants and long-sleeve shirts to protect you from insects. Remember to bring some bug repellent!
The Brooker Creek Preserve Center offers visitors the chance to dive in deeper into Florida’s ecology. Walk through the exhibits and learn about the connection between humans and land in this environment. The exhibits are a perfect mix of science, history, and fun, and appeal to all generations! Experience life as a gopher tortoise, learn about different seasons and how they affect the preserve, or travel back in time through interactive activities.
Have a Well-Deserved Vacation at the Historic Peninsula Inn
Spend the day exploring Brooker Creek Preserve before making your way back to the Historic Peninsula Inn! After all that hiking, you’ll need a quiet place to relax and regain your energy. Our lovely B&B has exactly what you’re searching for!
Take a look at our stunning accommodations and consider booking our Burma Suite. With a cozy queen bed in the main room and a loveseat that can sleep one adult, it’s the ideal choice for a weekend getaway. Fall asleep in luxurious sheets and wake up the next day feeling as refreshed as ever! When you open your eyes in the morning, follow the sweet smell of coffee downstairs and discover a delicious homemade breakfast waiting for you.