Weedon Island Preserve
Price: FREE (except for a select few classes offered at the Center)
Hours: The preserve itself is open everyday 7am-Time posted at front of park, usually about 15 minutes before sunset, but I've pushed it a couple times when leaving and I've been fine.
The Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center is open Thursday through Saturday 9am-4pm and Sunday 11am-4pm.
Weedon Island Preserve is a great spot for anyone wanting to feel a part of nature without having to go very far. I like to run here or even just go up to the observatory tower to clear my head. I always see a few people but the boardwalks usually stay pretty clear.
Here's a full map to get an idea of what you're working with.
What to do: I did not realize how much was offered here until I started looking into it for this post. I was pleasantly surprised and plan to take more advantage of what they have to offer.
- Classes - 99% of them are free and the ones that cost money are for canoeing/kayaking or supplies to make your own rainwater harvesting barrel
- Hike/Walk - There's a couple of different trails all with a slightly different purpose. Check out the link to get the lowdown on each
- Exhibits - Located inside the Cultural and Natural History Center there's 6,000 sq. ft. of exhibits to walk through (all free) where you can learn about the ecosystems and even prehistoric populations that used to live in the area. They even have artifacts that have been dug up including a 1,100 year old canoe (whaaat? that's insane) located in the Welcome Center
- Fish - The fishing pier is located at the very end which is apparently a good spot for catching sheepshead, jack and snook
Note: Remember you'll be in nature and there are bugs in nature. Depending on the time of year and day, the sandflies (aka no-see-ums because they're so small you no see em! ha! ...yeah I need to work on my jokes) can be pretty bad so you may want to bring bug spray.