Honeymoon Islandis a short drive across the causeway from Dunedin. Visitors can swim, fish, and snorkel as well as hike this particularly scenic island. Shelling is good here and there are many amenities including a gift shop and snack bar. Our visit today included hiking some of the trails. After a quick visit to the nature center we hiked the short “Trash to Treasure” trail.
This is a small loop hike that only takes about 10 minutes to travel. Upon completing this trail we drove further north up the island to hike the Osprey Trail this trail takes you through around 80 acres of virgin slash pine forest and includes many environments such as mangrove swamps, sea grass beds, marsh tidal flats and coastal strand. There were many berries and late fall flowers along the trail.
There were quite a few osprey nests to be seen from the trail and many were occupied. At the far northern tip of the trail a photographer sat quietly waiting on a bench waiting for the bald eagles to come in to the nest they had used last year.
There were many small migrating birds moving through the mangroves as well as migrating monarch butterflies on the last blooms of goldenrod. As we circled back around to the pelican trail we found many tracks in the loose sand, some of the biggest raccoon tracks I have ever seen! The wind had picked up and the flowers along the trail were gently swaying in the breeze, beautiful color line the trail as we hiked back to the car.
Arriving back at the car we decided we had not walked far enough as the day was just beautiful, so we made our way over to the beach. As we walked northward along the beach we saw very few people and the sea was at high tide. The sand was glistening white in the bright sun and there were many treasures left along the shore brought in by heavy currents.
There were many varieties if sea fern and sea sponges left on the shore as well as beautiful seashells. We continued our walk north along the beach until we saw the lighthouse in the distance on Anclote Key. We were quickly running out of beach and so we turn around and headed down towards the more populated portion of the island by the concession area and down tours dog beach. There were many more beach visitors here on the southern tip of the island this is a popular tourist location and people visit here from all around the world. As we passed the concession area and headed towards dog beach we noticed the seagulls with their backs to the wind trying to keep warm.
We took the trail from a parking lot to dog beach. This trail was lined with goldenrod and plum grass. There are many small birds and butterflies and of course as we get to woods the beach we found many families playing with their dogs. This shallow beach is where you can bring your 4 legged friends to play in the salty water. This is a wonderful beach to share some time with friends, the island has so much to offer and is a must see when visiting Florida.
The staff at the nature center is very helpful and can direct you to many wonderful places on this island for nature viewing and bird watching. If you enjoy shore fishing you’ll find the island a wonderful location for catching many varieties of fish. W e would be very happy to take you and your family exploring on this beautiful island for more information please visit our website at: http://www.notaclueadventures.com
For more information on Honeymoon Island visit their website at: http://www.floridastateparks.org/honeymoonisland/
For more photos from our hike please visit: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150525635336982.472215.123289366981&type=1