Park Review - Sawgrass Lake

Sawgrass Lake Park is a county park located in St Petersburg, Florida. It consists of a large lake, a branching boardwalk, a short oak-lined road, and some trails in a patch of brush land. It is about 400 acres in size with a little under 2 miles in actual trails. The lake itself is quite large and is overlooked by an observation tower.

The entrance is a short winding road lined with oak trees. This area is very well kept and was full of flocks of multiple warbler species. I saw a Prothonotary Warbler, and a few other typical species like Yellow-Throated Warblers here. A small stream runs alongside this road. I was also lucky enough to see a Cooper's Hawk flying under the canopy.

At the lake, I was able to see a few birds like Great Blue Herons and a nest of young Anhinga from the observation tower. The lake itself was unfortunately quite polluted. There was more trash here than any other county park I had ever seen in Florida. The boardwalk is not very long, but long enough to notice a glaring problem about the park. It is situated right between a major interstate and an active gun range, so the entire time you are walking the trails you will not be able get a moment of silence. The proximity to the interstate may also explain the abundance of trash in the area.

The boardwalk ends and gives way to a dirt path and an interesting brick path, but notably there are very few birds back here. I saw a single Northern Parula, but nothing else, even after walking the area twice. I am guessing the sound of cars rushing by probably scares away most of the wildlife here. I did, however, find an entire shattered window in the middle of the dirt path.

Overall, I was not a big fan of this park. If I returned, I would stay near the entrance and look for warblers in the oak trees. The nearby Boyd Hill Park is much better.

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