Event Access: Anyone
Event difficulty Rating: 1 of 10 - Easy
(Beautiful 2-3 mile walk along well marked trails)
Physical Requirement Rating: Low
Culture Shock Rating: None
Its beautiful out, enjoy the Florida cool weather before summer returns. Get outside and breath some fresh air during this beautiful hike along a well marked trail through Tampa Bays forests.
This is a free event, meet the TAG staff, current members and guests on a relaxing nature walk in the great outdoors.
- Guided day hike through the park
- Free trail maps
- Free fun-filled photos of the entire event
- Meet other TAG members
- Meet the TAG staff and ask questions
- TAG's "Quality event guarantee!"
Brooker Creek Preserve is an 8,500-acre wilderness area located in the northeastern corner of Pinellas County. Bordered by Pasco County to the north and Hillsborough County to the east, the Preserve is roughly seven miles long and one and one-half miles wide and lies within the rapidly developing East Lake region of Pinellas County. Brooker Creek Preserve is a wilderness island surrounded on all sides by urban development.
Brooker Creek Preserve is not a park, but a wilderness area. Responsibility for its management rests with Pinellas County's Department of Environmental Management which is under the direct supervision of the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners.
The Preserve's namesake, Brooker Creek, is the only stream that enters Lake Tarpon and is a major influence on its water quality. The numerous channels of Brooker Creek enter the Preserve from wetlands in Hillsborough County and flow through a maze of swamps and uplands within the Preserve before combining into a single stream east of Lake Tarpon.
Ecologically, the Preserve is an interesting place and an important area to protect. The site supports populations of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, otter, gopher tortoise, bobcat, and coyote. Many of these species are abundant in the Preserve but are found nowhere else in the county. Likewise, many less common species such as the endangered Catesby lily, a variety of orchids, Bachman's sparrows, and the tiger swallowtail butterfly find refuge within the Preserve. The size and diversity of the Preserve will ensure that the great diversity of plants and animals that reside there now will have a home for future generations.
For about 15 years, Pinellas County has been acquiring the property which today comprises Brooker Creek Preserve. Some of the earliest purchases were targeted to protect groundwater quality around the county's Eldridge-Wilde well field. Other purchases were made for county projects that were not implemented.
Development and adoption of Pinellas County's Growth Management Plan in 1989 gave great impetus to expand the acreage of conservation lands within the county. The area that is now the Preserve was targeted as the best choice. Since 1990, an aggressive land acquisition campaign was waged to tie together the various parcels that were already owned by the county and to acquire additional environmentally sensitive tracts that had yet to be developed. Although the county was reasonably successful in purchasing land through a number of means including the "Penny for Pinellas" sales tax, the greatest boost came in 1992 when the Southwest Florida Water Management District purchased more than 1,600 acres adjacent to a county purchase of nearly 800 acres at the southern end of the Preserve.
Another significant boost to the land acquisition program came in 1993 when the State of Florida approved a grant request through its Preservation 2000, Communities Trust Fund Program for 13 separate parcels. The matching contribution of $1.2 million made it possible to add hundreds of additional acres to the Preserve, including the site for the Environmental Education Center. In 1995, another $1.2 million was approved by the State for additional acreage.
In 1995, Hillsborough County purchased 400 acres adjacent to the Preserve and the future could hold additional acquisitions beyond Pinellas County borders. An aggressive land purchase program continues in Pinellas County while contiguous wildlands remain available.
In 2009, Pinellas County added over 700 acres to Brooker Creek Preserve with the purchase of the Wilde property on the north side of Keystone Road. This land will provide a corridor for wildlife, connecting Brooker Creek Preserve with 1,000 acres in Hillsborough County and with the Anclote River corridor.
A comprehensive management plan developed with the assistance of biologists from the University of South Florida directs a program of land management, research, and environmental education. All the while, the Preserve provides a unique backdrop for a variety of public uses. Balancing the needs of wilderness with public use is
one of the great challenges of the Brooker Creek Preserve.
Please arrive on time and check in with the TAG staff wearing the green TAG hats and shirts.
10:00AM: Park and meetup with the other members and the TAG staff in green TAG hats and TAG shirts. After everyone arrives we will begin the event by visiting the nature center, a wealth of knowledge about nature, and Florida's eco-systems. Next we make our way out to the trail and enjoy a leisure hike along the 2 mile loop. You will have plenty of breaks for pictures or to read information signs. Relax in the great outdoors!
Arrive back at the parking lot and visitors nature center.
None, this is a Free Event!
- Small backpack
- Water or Sports Drinks
- Bug Repellant
- Comfortable shoes
Brooker Creek Preserve
3940 Keystone Road,
Tarpon Springs, FL[masked]
Please check in with the TAG staff in the green TAG hat and TAG shirts when you arrive.
For driving directions and maps for this event click here!
From South Tampa - Follow the Courtney Campbell Causeway (SR60) west and turn north (right) onto McMullen Booth Road (CR611). The name of this road changes to East Lake Road north of Tampa Road (CR752). Continue north to Keystone Road (CR582) and turn east (right). Travel approximately 2.5 miles to the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center entrance. Follow the one-mile drive to the Center.
From North Tampa - From N Dale Mabry Hwy (SR597), turn west onto Van Dyke Road (CR685A) and travel to Gunn Hwy (CR587). Turn north (right) and continue 1.4 miles to Tarpon Springs Road (CR582). Turn west (left) and travel approximately 5.1 miles to the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center entrance. Follow the one-mile drive to the Center.
From Pinellas County - Go north on US19 to Tarpon Avenue E. (CR582) and turn east (right). Pass through the traffic signal at East Lake Road (CR611) and continue for approximately 2.5 miles to the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center entrance. Follow the one-mile drive to the Center.
Contact the Tampa Adventure Group below.