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If you like to explore and find hidden gems in the area then this article is for you. The Pinellas Trail is a paved recreational path built along an old 34-mile long retired railway that goes from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg; that leaves a lot to be found along the way! With that being said, I've done by best to round up and plot 10 cool stops along the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, starting from top (Tarpon Springs) to bottom (St. Petersburg).
Personal suggestion: I love taking my E-scooter on the trail, however, a lot of people opt to bike it or even just walk. It's up to you on how you'd like to enjoy it, but if you want to cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time, something with wheels, such as skateboards, bikes and rollerblades, may be best! I would suggest jumping on the trail by parking at the Tarpon Springs Splash Park (point "A") and traveling south from there. It you want to span a trip out over a couple of days, check out the many VRBOs that run along the trail.
My map is below, but keep scrolling for a comprehensive overview of each point!
Stop# 1: Downtown Tarpon Springs
Not to be confused with the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, the trail runs right through downtown Tarpon Springs. With many locally owned shops, restaurants and cafes (many with a Greek-flare) to check out, this area of the trail gives you the perfect excuse to explore the less-touristy historic parts of this adorable Greek-inspired town.
Stop #2: Suncoast Primate Sanctuary
When traversing the Pinellas Trail south of Tarpon Springs, you will inevitably end up directly behind the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary. You will know when you've made it there, as you can actually see some of the monkeys playing around in their cages right from the trail! There's a small walking path along the fence line and even a donation box, but if you want a closer look it's only a short walk to the front entrance.
Stop #3: Wall Springs Park
You may remember this park from my previous blog post, but I had to include Wall Springs Park on this list because I never would have known it existed if it wasn't for the trail! There is a direct entrance to Wall Springs from the trail, and it's free to enter, so why not take a little detour here!
Stop #4: Weaver Park Pier
If you catch yourself in the area of Weaver Park during the evening, make it a priority to stop at the pier for a great sunset viewpoint. If you need some convincing, check out this photo I took here!
Stop #5: Downtown Dunedin
Tarpon Springs has all the historic Greek vibes and Dunedin is similar in nature but with historic Scottish vibes. This is a great spot to stop and meander around, enjoy the history and scenery, grab a bite, shop, or just hang by the water, so it's super convenient that the Pinellas Trail runs right through the heart of it!
Stop #6: Taylor Park
John. S. Taylor Park is a large park centered right off the Pinellas Trail in Largo, complete with a lake, disc golf course, trails and more, it's a welcoming sight for those nature-lovers out there (and if you've made it this far down the path, anyone who might need a bathroom break).
Stop #7: Long Bayou Footbridge
The Long Bayou Footbridge is exactly what it sounds like: a long footbridge over the bayou. It's actually really cool to traverse over since you won't have to worry about passing cars, so take it easy and enjoy the gorgeous views of the water below.
Stop #8: Stonehenge Park
Florida has its own Stonehenge; though, it's a little different than what you're probably imagining. Beautifully painted pillars mark this hidden gem, and while I wouldn't say it's worth a special trip on it's own, coming across the "park" is pretty cool when you're already on the trail. The graffiti is definitely photo-op worthy!
Stop #9: Royal Palm Cemetery South
This might just be me, but I find walks through cemeteries to be peaceful, and that's why I included the Royal Palm Cemetery South on this list. There are some relatively old graves here to find, some dating back into the 1800s! What's more, the grounds runs right along the trail so it's not at all out of the way.
Stop #10: Downtown St. Petersburg
I could write all day about the array of the neat things to find in St. Pete, but I will let my previous article do the talking for me.
But wait, there's more
Be prepared to see a lot of nature during your trip down the trail; from massive bushes of wildflowers to many species of wildlife sharing the path with you, it's an exceptionally gorgeous route that'll lead you to some incredible locations. Oh, and don't forget to bring a GoPro so that you can capture all the cool moments without worrying about lugging around a heavy camera!
Happy travels and let me know what you find along the way!
READ ALSO: You can pick a bouquet of wildflowers for only $5 at this field near Tampa