This is a nice route through flatwoods and mangrove swamps along Tampa Bay.
Stop by the natural history center to see a 1,100 year old canoe found at the island.
Watch for tree roots.
Start at a small parking lot off of Weedon Drive. From the parking lot, head east then stay right at the split of the Boy Scout Trail
. You'll descend slightly along the dirt trail to follow the trail closer to the lake. Along the way, you'll cross several small bridges and go through mangroves swamps as you work your way around Boyscout Lake. After the first bridge, at the next junction stay right again to continue following the lake. At a junction about 0.5 miles into the run, take a left to head eat on Boy Scout Trail Spur
towards Lookout Point Trail
At the junction with Lookout Point Trail
, turn left which will take you on a berm through a massive mangrove swamp with a mangrove canopy above you, watch for a lot of wildlife in this area. The lookout point has great views and makes a nice picnic area. From here, head back along the berm and at the junction with Boy Scout Trail
, stay left on the Lookout Point Trail
and follow the signs for the center.
This next area to run is a combination of three different trails including paved and boardwalk trails. At the picnic area and three-way junction, turn left to take the Bay Boardwalk
which travels over the swamp and water. Take a left out on Bay Observation Platform Spur
to the great lookout, then retrace your steps and carry on the Bay Boardwalk
. At the end of the Bay Boardwalk
, turn left onto Upland Trail
, a paved path that leads toward the visitor center. Continue past the visitor center and take a left onto Tower Boardwalk
where you'll go through more mangroves and have the option of going up the observation towers for some scenic views.
After finishing the Tower Boardwalk
, you'll be back on the Upland Trail
which takes you past what remains of what was once a waiting room of an airport. You stay on the paved Upland Trail
which will turn into unpaved Lookout Point Trail
. Continue on this to the junction with Boy Scout Trail Spur
and turn left to head back to Boy Scout Trail
. At the fork, turn left to wrap around the south side of Boyscout Lake.
The trail ends at Weedon Drive. To get back to the parking area, turn right and follow along the side of the road for a short distance.
Mangroves, flatwoods (pine) live oak, wax myrtle, palms, critters include racoons, snakes, armadillo, tortoises, crab as well as a various birds including heron, spoonbills, ibis, and osprey.
The island was added to the US National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and is named after a former owner of the island, Dr. Leslie Weedon.