Parks and Recreation

To preserve, protect, maintain and enhance the city's parklands and recreational facilities and engage people in leisure activities that contribute to their quality of life.

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve


1101 Country Club Way South • St. Petersburg, Florida • 33705


(727) 893-7326


November 1 - February 29
Tuesday - Friday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm • Saturday 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm • Monday Closed
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day

March 1 - October 31
Tuesday - Friday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm • Saturday 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm • Monday Closed


$3 Adult
$1.50 Child (Age 3 to 16)
Free (Age 2 and under)
Sorry, no pets. Annual Passes Available


Tram Tours depart daily at 1:00 pm. Saturday Tram Tours depart at 10:00 am & 1:00pm.
Please note the preserve is closed on Mondays.
$5 for adults and $3.50 for children ages 3 through 16. Under 3 years FREE. Payment reserves your spot on the daily tram tours.
Groups of 4 or more may request a special tram tour subject to staff and volunteer availability.
Advance notice of 1-2 days is preferred.

Park Features

  • 245-acre award-winning park
  • 6 miles of trails & boardwalks
  • Unique ecosystems:
    hardwood hammocks
    sand pine scrub
    pine flatwoods
    willow marsh
    swamp woodlands
    lake shore
  • Part of the Great Florida Birding Trail
  • Bird of prey aviary
  • Guided tours
  • Group rentals
  • Overnight camping facilities
  • Picnic areas & shelter
  • Playground
  • Gift shop
  • Annual butterfly count with the North American Butterfly Association

This Month's
Classes & Activities


Related Areas

The Nature Preserve

Lake Maggiore

Spanning approximately 380 acres, Lake Maggiore is an important body of brackish water in southern Pinellas County. The lake serves as an important food resource for local wildlife and migrating birds and provides a beautiful view of downtown St. Petersburg. It is a favorite location for birders and other naturalists to see a wide variety of birds. Alligators are also commonly found moving through the water and basking along the shoreline of the lake. Interestingly, the lake contains both freshwater and saltwater species of fish due to the lake’s unique history. In the early 20th century, the locals referred to the lake as “Salt Lake” because it was tidally influenced through Salt Creek which connects with Tampa Bay. In the late 1930s, a dam was installed at the northeast part of the lake effectively cutting off the salt water and allowing the lake become mildly brackish.

Willow Marsh

The marsh is composed of dense stands of cattails, bulrushes, and other emergent plants. Dragonflies of all colors can be seen flying around the grasses and sedges and if you are lucky, you may even see a female laying eggs by tapping the surface of the water repeatedly with her abdomen or by placing the eggs on vegetation! Marsh rabbits also move through the habitat feeding on the leaves and bulbs of marsh plants. The marsh also provides a quiet, secluded area for wading birds to hunt for small fish and invertebrates.

Swamp Woodlands

The swamp is one of the most fascinating habitats found within the preserve. Wet throughout the year, the soil acts as a natural filter, cleaning water as it moves through the swamp and out into Lake Maggiore. The swamp also helps with flood control, absorbing the water runoff during heavy seasonal rainfalls. Tall bald cypress and red maple tress create a canopy over the area while giant leather leaf ferns and lizard’s tail emerge from the dark soil. If you look carefully, you will see mosquito fish swimming in the streaming water eating mosquito larvae!

Pine Flatwoods

In the Pine Flatwoods, you will find tall slash and long leaf pine trees towering over an understory of bracken fern, goldenrod, and saw palmetto. Pileated woodpecker search for insects along the trunks of trees while gopher tortoise eat wire grass below. The abundance of life found in this habitat is impressive! This ecosystem is fire dependent. The plants and animals in this ecosystem have unique adaptations perfectly suited to survive this fire dependent habitat such as wax covered leaves, long root systems, and flaky bark which prevents trees from being destroyed by fire.rovide a canopy for blue jays and cardinals and a food source for fox squirrels. Lizards flash through the sunlit patches in their pursuit of an insect meal.

Sand Scrub Trail

The Sand Scrub looks a lot like what you might expect to find in a desert; there is dry sand, rattlesnakes, prickly pear cacti, and even scorpions hiding behind the bark of pine trees. It is one of the most biodiverse habitats found in Florida, but unfortunately, only about 2% of the original sand scrub habitats remains. While most of the Sand Scrub in Florida today is found along the Lake Wales Ridge in Central Florida, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is fortunate to have a small piece of Sand Scrub within the preserve—a home to several rare and sensitive plants and animals. View Trail Map.


The Hammock is a forested habitat that is at a slightly higher elevation than nearby low-lying areas such as the swamp. The area has a dense canopy consisting of Live Oak, Sabal Palm, and other trees. The word “hammock” comes from early inhabitants and means a shady and cool place. Squirrels create nests in the limbs of the trees and birds, such as the Cooper’s Hawk, fly through the canopy. The understory consists of many shorter trees and shrubs, such as Wild Coffee while the ground below is covered with a thick layer of leaf litter. Large fallen logs are covered with fungi of different shapes and colors.

Natural Playground

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is home to the City of St. Petersburg, Florida USA first natural playground. Completed in June of 2018, this unique feature is constructed of sustainably harvested wood and contains elements, such as a parkour course, basket swings, tree stumps and more! The playground blends in with the beautiful surrounding natural environment, giving children a chance to explore among live trees, plants and a small stream. Natural playgrounds stimulate children’s imaginations, boost their energy levels, encourage interactive play, and increase the amount of time they spend in play.

Pioneer Settlement

The Pioneer Settlement is a living history museum experience where visitors can observe and take part in the skills, crafts and social customs of late 19th century life in west central Florida. Visit the Pioneer Settlement.

Environmental Studies Area & Rentals

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve offers a natural, picturesque setting with a variety of options for individuals, groups and businesses looking for a unique location for an event, meeting or retreat. There are many types of rental facilities to accommodate your youth or adult group. More about rentals.

Lake Maggiore Alligator Bird of Prey gopher tortoise natural playground


Formerly named Lake Maggiore Park, the preserve was renamed Boyd Hill Nature Trail in 1958 after a park superintendent whose dream was to bring together the people of an urban community and nature-in-the-raw without disturbing the balance of either.