The Great Florida Outdoors: Moccasin Lake

Dr. Robert Norman, Clinical Professor, Dermatology
Nova Southeastern University

Located close to Highways 19 and 60 in Clearwater, Moccasin Lake is a wonderful 51-acre nature preserve that opened to the public in 1982. With more than an acre of natural and board-walked trails, a three acre watershed restoration area, and a five acre lake, you have plenty of sights to enjoy your day. Here you are given the opportunity to see a tremendous variety of native flora and fauna, along with birds such as ospreys and great egrets, gopher turtles, raccoons, American alligators, and butterflies.

In the preserve are several injured birds of prey including rehabilitated bald eagles, hawks, vultures, and owls. Included are nature classes and programs in the Environmental Education Center, indoor and outdoor educational facilities, and zoological and energy conservation exhibits.

I took a wonderful hike on a clear October afternoon. The trail winds its way under a canopy of mature oaks and across ponds and creeks to the edge of a stream that overflows into a more natural fern-edged run through the forest. The Cypress Trail, a side spur, leads to a bluff overlooking a large lake, where the Brigham Dock offers an observation point for watching wading birds.

Both indoor and outdoor meeting spaces are available. The Park is the club meeting site for the Clearwater Audubon, Suncoast Herpetological Society, Suncoast Sierra Club, Clearwater Turtle and Tortoise Club of Florida, Bonsai Club, and others.

Moccasin Lake is an ideal place to take the family for a gentle nature adventure. You can also volunteer as a science and environmental contract instructor by calling (727) 793-2976 or (727) 742-0600 for information.

Moccasin Lake Nature Park
Where: 2750 Park Trail Lane, Clearwater
Hours: 9am-5pm Tuesday-Friday; 10am-5pm Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday
Phone: (727) 793-2976

On the web: http://www.myclearwaterparks.com/facilities/facilities-amenities-locator/moccasin-lake-environmental-education-center

Quote of the Month from Dr. Rob Norman
“One joy scatters a hundred griefs.”
– Chinese Proverb

Dr. Norman is an award-winning dermatologist and author of 15 textbooks on dermatology. Please call him today at 813-880-7546 to schedule an appointment.

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