The sign at the entrance to Brooker Creek Preserve says “Visitors welcome.” If an interested driver enters, he follows a winding road into a wooded area far from the traffic and noise of Keystone Road.
At the trailhead is an Education Center. This well-maintained building houses a beautiful array of interactive activities that teach about local ecosystems. Several video experiences explain the land and its history. Three separate sitting rooms provide views of the natural habitats and wildlife. The best viewing times are early in the morning and sunset. A resource room offers books, guides, and free pamphlets about the ecosystems and natural resources.
The Preserve covers over 8500 acres of forested wetlands and pine flatwoods that are surrounded by urban Pinellas county. It provides the perfect setting for visitors to enjoy the natural flora and fauna of Florida. Nine miles of trails and boardwalks wind through the various natural ecosystems, providing opportunities to glimpse deer, frogs, turkeys, tortoises, and a wide variety of birds. The boardwalks are wheelchair accessible. In dryer weather, some of the trails are accessible to wheelchairs as well, but during the rainy season, some parts of trails may have standing water.
Brooker Creek also has over nine miles of equestrian trails. These run through open fields and pinelands. The Preserve does not rent horses, nor does it provide guided equestrian activities. Guests are advised to bring enough water for both rider and horse.
Maps of the trails, park rules, and an abundance of additional information about Brooker Creek Preserve may be found at http://www.brookercreekpreserve.org/
The park opens at 7 AM, and closes at the time posted at the entrance to the trail. It is closed on Christmas and the day after Thanksgiving. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
Brooker Creek Preserve is truly an experience to treasure.