On the shores of Lake Maggiore is Boyd Hill Nature Preserve [1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg, FL 33705], a great patch of wilderness to explore near St. Petersburg. You’ll get the whole gambit of varied Florida ecosystems including marsh, woodlands, swamp, live oaks draped in Spanish moss, and sandy pines.
There are so many incredible birds to witness, most of all the great horned owl that took over an osprey nest!
You may also see wading birds, osprey, and kingfisher.
One of the most exciting things I was lucky enough to come across was a BABY gopher tortoise! The only tiny tike I saw my entire trip down south.
Less natural, but nonetheless spectacular, there are sculptures scattered about the woods.
Off the trails there is a raptor rescue aviary which rehabilitates injured birds of prey, like this gorgeous kestrel.
There is a small price of admission to enter, $3 for adults – and even though there are many free preserves in the area I think it’s worth it for what you’re going to see!