Honeymoon Island Hike

November 2011

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.

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.

Osprey 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.

Osprey at nest

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.

Honeymoon Island North Beach at high tide

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.

Keeping 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.

Monarch on Goldenrod

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

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About notacluegal

Jeanene was born in Pittsburgh, PA. As a young child her family was very active in the outdoors. Things changed when her parents decided to travel down different paths in life and with that decision so went many of the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Being lucky to live in the suburbs Jeanene always had a backyard to play in and loved being outdoors. As the years passed she took every opportunity to be outdoors. She bought land in Tennessee and as a single mom moved her young daughter to the mountains. The were many life lessons learned on that mountain. There was no plumbing on the property – or even a house, but that did not stop her. She learned to live off of what was available and built her own cabin from the trees on her property. Those were rough years but the most rewarding. Now Jeanene resides in Tampa, Fl. and works as an office manager full time….but still yeans to be outdoors. Jeanene started “Not a Clue Adventures” to teach everyone she could how wonderful the outdoors are! That camping and fishing and hiking can be done by everyone and at many different levels. Single mom’s no longer have to be afraid to take their sons and daughters outdoors. By working with young couples, single parents and even seniors, she gets to teach others about her love for the outdoors and hopes to open their eyes to new adventures. In 2009, Jeanene completed certification as a Leave No Trace Instructor. She also works closely with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and the Florida State Parks. Jeanene is also certified in First Aid/Adult CPR.
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