George C. McGough Nature Park, also known as “Largo Turtle Park” is arguably one of the best parks in Pinellas County. Unfortunately, it is not very well known. I have lived in the area for over 8 years, but was just recently made aware of this hidden beauty.
Located at 11901 146th St N, Largo, FL, this FREE state park is open to the public Tuesday – Sunday (closed on Mondays). If you plug this into your GPS, beware! It took me past the parking lot and into the neighborhood next to the park. To get there, travel west on Ulmerton Rd. until it turns into Walsingham Rd. Then continue on, until just before the bridge to the beaches, and make a right onto 146th St. N. The parking lot will be on your left.
Once you arrive, head into the nature center to purchase your turtle food for just $0.50. While there, make sure you check out the little screech owls, snakes, frogs and the hands-on children’s activities. Be sure to talk to the volunteers too, they are a wealth of knowledge, and very friendly!
Once you have your turtle food, head out back to the two turtle decks, so you can feed the abundances of turtles that has given this park it’s common name. There is a board that shows what types of turtles they have, by one of the decks.
We were most impressed by the Florida Softshell Turtles. They were huge! Also, look toward the bushes and trees and you might catch some turtles sunbathing.
And watch out for the Muscovy ducks! They like the turtle food too, and they aren’t afraid of humans!
We chose not to check out the boardwalk on this trip because it was getting close to naptime, so instead we headed back toward the nature center. We made a stop on the deck behind the nature center to see all the birds of prey.
They have several injured owls and hawks there who are receiving treatment or living out the rest of their lives in protection from predators because of their injuries. Our favorites were Franklin & Eleanor (the owls).
After a little coloring in the nature center, we headed out so we could make a quick stop for lunch before heading home for nap. Next time we will be taking Daddy with us, and we will definitely check out the boardwalk. I guess you can walk all the way back to the intercoastal waterway!
Thank you so much for stopping by, please come back again! Do you know of any hidden gems in the Tampa Bay area? Please share them below, in a comment. We are always looking for new fun things to do around the area!