Enjoy Nature, History at Weedon Island Preserve
Weedon Island Preserve is an expansive 3,190-acre natural area located along the northwest shore of Old Tampa Bay in Pinellas County. More than half of its land is located north of Gandy Boulevard. This coastal system, comprised of aquatic and upland ecosystems, is home to numerous species of native plants and animals, an educational facility and a rich cultural history. Indigenous peoples occupied this site for thousands of years. Today, the preserve protects a wide diversity of natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. Weedon Island Preserve is also a well-known birding and fishing site.
Weedon Island Preserve combines a wonderful nature experience on a site with fascinating historical significance. The Cultural and Natural History Center features classrooms and exhibit areas designed by anthropologists, historians and Native Americans to reflect the art and history of the area’s first people. What was once a true island during high tides is now a low-lying peninsula surrounded by several small islands. The history of this group of low-lying islands goes back thousands of years to a time when early peoples such as the Timucuans and Manasotas made the island their home.
The Center combines a look at artifacts excavated from the site by the Smithsonian in the 1940s as well as giving visitors a chance to experience aspects of Native American culture in the exhibit gallery. Today, the Preserve protects its wide diversity of natural and cultural resources for future generations including the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center.
Boardwalks and trails give visitors an opportunity to explore this vast area. Visit the Education Center to check out a backpack filled with a variety of activities and field guides. These backpack kits are a great way to learn more about the preserve.
A wide variety of scheduled activities are available at the Weedon Island Preserve. Programming includes everything from attending an Archaeology Lab to participating in the annual Gopher Weedon Trail Run. For a complete schedule of activities visit the Cultural and Natural History Center.
The preserve serves as a natural floodplain, which protects nearby development from flooding and coastal erosion by reducing storm surge. It also provides valuable habitats for many kinds of
animals including oysters, stingrays and even small sharks, and it offers an array of recreational and educational opportunities, such as paddling, hiking, and bird watching. For other great outdoor activities in the Tampa Bay area visit our story: Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.