While in the Tampa area be sure to make a stop at Honeymoon Island and hike the Osprey Trail. The park has a lot to offer, including beach access, picnic areas, playgrounds, a nature center, and more. Our goal was to hike the Osprey Trail.
The Osprey Trail is 2.2 miles long, starting at one end of the picnic and parking lot area and ending at another end back behind where the restrooms are. The trail is well marked and offers interpretive signs along the way. What a wonderful trail! There are osprey nests all over the place. And they are huge. We were there during nesting season (this past weekend), so there were osprey's flying all over the place. It was awesome!
There is also a huge bald eagle nest that you can see. They have it fenced off so it is protected (thankfully), but you can still get a good view of it. We also so lots of other kinds of birds zipping around as we hiked, including red bellied woodpecker, mourning doves, and others.
The first half of the trail is suitable for a stroller, although once you reach the eagle's nest (about a mile in) you would want to turn around take the same path back. Otherwise once you pass that point there are areas that a stroller would have difficulty getting through. We came across muddy areas, as well as areas of deep soft sand.
Two thumbs up for the Osprey Trail. It was beautiful, was buzzing with wildlife, and enjoyable for the whole family. The 2.2 miles provided us with a good hike around the area. We even paused to sit on the bench to watch the eagle's nest.
After the trail hike we stopped into the nature center, which offers a lot of things for the kids to check out and learn about. They even have a scavenger hunt for the kids to do. Step out the back door of the nature center and you are treated with a great lake view. There are rocking chairs there, so you can even take a break.
This is a park where you can pack a picnic, take the hike and then enjoy lunch. You can also pull up a beach spot and relax for a while. While you are on the Osprey Trail there is also a Pelican Trail that intercepts it. If you take that one it will cut across and take you down by the water. We did some of that to make our way around a little flooding on one of the parts of the Osprey Trail.
You can find more information about the Osprey Trail and Honeymoon Island here.
Here are pictures from our stop at Honeymoon Island, where we hiked the Osprey Trail and visited the Nature Center: