Island Trail at Caladesi Island State Park

Dunedin, Florida

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This hike travels through the heart of a Gulf barrier island accessible only by boat. Caladesi Island is the setting for this trek, which travels through coastal strand woodlands before turning into an oak-shaded maritime hammock. The final part of the hike explores the park beach, which in the past has been voted America’s best beach. The sandy swath offers shelling opportunities and a chance to hike along a dune community. Here you’ll find one of the best hikes in the Tampa Bay area, one of its lesser-used paths. The trail truly does explore much of what the island has to offer, from a historic old fire tower to the history of people who lived on the island to the natural communities here—including coastal strand forest where you walk through nearly pure palm groves. Old-growth pine flatwoods have their place, as does the maritime hammock, where shade is king on this sun-splashed isle.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Tampa Bay

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Best Easy Day Hikes: Tampa Bay

by Johnny Molloy (Falcon Guides)

This hike travels through the heart of a Gulf barrier island accessible only by boat. Caladesi Island is the setting for this trek, which travels through coastal strand woodlands before turning into an oak-shaded maritime hammock. The final part of the hike explores the park beach, which in the past has been voted America’s best beach. The sandy swath offers shelling opportunities and a chance to hike along a dune community.

Here you’ll find one of the best hikes in the Tampa Bay area, one of its lesser-used paths. The trail truly does explore much of what the island has to offer, from a historic old fire tower to the history of people who lived on the island to the natural communities here—including coastal strand forest where you walk through nearly pure palm groves. Old-growth pine flatwoods have their place, as does the maritime hammock, where shade is king on this sun-splashed isle.

©  Johnny Molloy/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Dunedin
Distance: 2.8
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours
Season: November through May
Local Maps: USGS Dunedin
Driving Directions: Directions to Island Trail at Caladesi Island State Park

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May 2018