A friend of mine once told me that the turtle is her spirit animal. I thought that was kind of silly. Sure, I always liked turtles just fine, but they were never a main focus in my life – I’m usually more interested in birds and mammals. I decided to give the reptiles some of my time and visit George C. McGough Nature Park – The Narrows [11901 146th St N, Largo, FL 33774], aka Turtle Park!
Not quite in St. Pete’s, but close enough – especially if you’re heading towards Indian Rocks Beach. This is a fantastic place to bring kids, or for the kids at heart (like myself). There are so many turtles in the pond, hanging on the platform, shore, and logs basking in the sun. Try and count them all, I dare you! It doesn’t seem like a bad life for the turtles here, eating, sunning, and swimming.
I can see the appeal of turtle life now. My favorite element is the fact that there is genuine turtle food for purchase to feed the turtles. Pro tip a local gave me, skip the machine and head inside to purchase the food – they give you a bigger cup.
The hungry turtles swarm for the feeding frenzy, and the show begins. There are ginormous snapping turtles as big as a Thanksgiving turkey!
Read the plaque to learn all about the different kinds of turtles that live in the area.
I loved learning about the soft shell turtles and discovering the Florida Cooter! Other than turtles there is a raptor rehabilitation center. Park employees have them out and about by the enclosure and along the trails.
They are happy to pose for a picture and chat. There is a little hiking trail which showcases the classic Florida habitat.
Also a playground, kids can really spend a good amount of time here. This whole attraction is free, unless you purchase a cup of food for a few cents!