Bayport Park and Pine Island July 2012
We decided to take a bit of a drive one day and checked out Bayport Park and Pine Island. If you have ever taken a boat ride or a kayak trip from the springs to the gulf on the Weeki Wachee River you have probably ended up at Bayport Park. Bayport Parksits on the Gulf of Mexico at the end of State Road 50 west. The park amenities include picnic tables, pavilions, barbecue grills, fishing pier and two boat ramps. This is the last piece of land before the great expanse of the Gulf of Mexico. You can see the high flying American flag at the park for a long distance off.
Arriving by boat or visiting by car one of the first things I have noticed was a constant wind (which does aid in keeping the summer bugs at bay). The “river side” of the ark is all salt marsh and is full of life! Manatee, rays, otters, needle fish and tons of shorebirds can be seen here at any time of year. There is a nice pier for fishing and the boat ramps are very easy to access.
There is a small fee to park so make sure you bring some small bills to place in the envelope for your parking tag. Plan a picnic, spend some time fishing, or just go visit to see the birds and enjoy some fresh salt air. You will find this small park enjoyable.
Just a short drive from Bayport is Alfred McKethan/ Pine Island Park. Located at 10800 Pine Island Drive (off County Road 495 west of Weeki Wachee) one of the first things you will notice driving to the park is how high up on stilts all the homes are. As it is an island when a big storm blows in there really is nowhere to hide. The road to Pine Island is just a couple feet above water level and a hurricane at high tide will quickly raise the water level to cover it. The park at the end of the island is about 3 acres. There is a small restaurant and picnic area, nice beach and volleyball court. This would be a fun place to bring the family for a day! Again, bring some cash for the parking and lots of sunblock!