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Weedon Island Reserve – St. Petersburg

Weedon Island Preserve, as it is called, is a natural reserve of over 3,000 acres of mostly marine ecosystems though there are also trails and boardwalks.  We opted for kayaking on a very pleasant day in December as we had long time friends from France visiting who wanted to do something outside the usual shopping, dining and drinking.

My friends from France at the put in where you rent kayaks at Weedon Island, St. Petersburg.

My friends from France at the put in where you rent kayaks at Weedon Island, St. Petersburg.

We thought kayaking would be the ideal day out for them and we invited another friend who had a kayak to come with us.  The French visitors needed to rent a kayak so we got one at Sweetwater Kayaks who have a rental facility at Weedon Island.

Who would think such a natural and peaceful view was possible in St. Petersburg city with its abundance of high rises, urban living and arts and culture?  It is all right here at Weedon Island.

Who would think such a natural and peaceful view was possible in St. Petersburg city with its abundance of high rises, urban living and arts and culture? It is all right here at Weedon Island.

They opted for a tandem kayak so they could be together.  The staff person was very friendly and helpful.  The put in was right there and we offloaded the kayaks we brought with us.

There are plenty of open areas to kayak around as well as narrow mangrove filled strips at Weedon Island, St. Petersburg.

There are plenty of open areas to kayak around as well as narrow mangrove filled strips at Weedon Island, St. Petersburg.

We spent nearly three hours leisurely going around Riviera Bay and viewing mangroves, birds and some really cool fish.  There is a canoe launch area after about 40 minutes of paddling that has a restroom and is convenient.  There is a fishing pier here also.  You can easily spend a full day here doing kayaking for half a day and hiking and/or biking around the land trails.  I will cover the land trails in another post when I get a chance to fully explore them all.

Even our dogs go into a day of kayaking at Weedon Island, St. Petersburg.

Even our dogs go into a day of kayaking at Weedon Island, St. Petersburg.

And if you go, bring a bite to eat or even a full lunch because there is a great sandbar you can pull up to that is perfect for a little sunshine and some relaxation time with your lunch.  Enjoy!

This sand bar provided the perfect stopping point for a nice leisurely lunch and a walk around in the middle of the bay at Weedon Island, St. Petersburg.

This sand bar provided the perfect stopping point for a nice leisurely lunch and a walk around in the middle of the bay at Weedon Island, St. Petersburg.

If you go, here’s a map to where you can rent the kayaks:

Link to map showing where Sweetwater Kayaks, the rental agency for kayaks, is located. 

And here is the link to the Weedon Island Reserve web site:

http://www.weedonislandpreserve.org/

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