Accessible Parks in St. Pete, Gulfport and Tierra Verde

If you love getting outdoors but have mobility challenges, read this accessibility guide to parks in St. Pete, Gulfport and Tierra Verde.

The Truth Sculpture and people walking in Vinoy Park are silhouetted by the sun.

Vinoy Park has paved paths that stretch along the St. Pete bayfront.

Advice from an Expert

Beth Stombaugh, a manual wheelchair user all her life, visited dozens of St. Pete/Clearwater parks in early 2022 to gather firsthand information about their accessibility. A Florida resident (she calls Gulfport home), Beth loves exploring local parks to pursue her hobby of wildlife photography. She also advocates for the rights of people with disabilities as well as other marginalized groups, and sings in St. Pete’s One City Chorus. Before she retired, Beth taught special education in Ohio for 24 years.

Do you love visiting beaches? Check out our Guide to Accessible Beaches in St. Pete/Clearwater.

1

Albert Whitted Park, St. Pete

A low, flat fountain is ringed by palm trees in Albert Whitted Park.

Albert Whitted Park makes the most of its waterfront location.

Pint-sized Albert Whitted Park offers a great bayfront vantage point for watching the scores of small planes that take off and land at Albert Whitted Airport. It has a playground that unfortunately isn’t accessible to children in a wheelchair or those who can’t climb. 

  • Location: 480 Bayshore Dr. SE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  • Parking: One disability parking spot with access stripes next to the playground.
  • Bathrooms: No bathrooms.
  • Dog-friendly: Yes.
2

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, St. Pete

A tree shaded path at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.

Numerous trails and boardwalks wind through Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, set on the shores of Lake Maggiore in south St. Pete, has several wheelchair-accessible trails. Its Environmental Education Center houses interactive exhibits including live lizards and other reptiles.

  • Location: 1101 Country Club Way S., St. Petersburg, FL 33705
  • Parking: Four disability spots with access stripes by the Environmental Education Center and Gift Shop.
  • Bathrooms: An accessible stall in the Environmental Education Center and Gift Shop with grab bars but no turnaround room or space beside the toilet for side transfers.
  • Trails: Go through the Environmental Education Center, pay $3 and head down the main trail, which is hard-packed dirt with a little loose gravel, past the Raptor Center and Aviary. After .1 miles, you’ll reach the Swamp Woodlands Boardwalk, a .2-mile synthetic-wood boardwalk with views of gators, including lots of baby or juvenile ones at times. Also off the main trail, the Willow Marsh Boardwalk is a .14-mile wooden loop. The main trail is a one-mile loop of hard-packed dirt and some loose gravel through sun and partial shade. Keep an eye out for gopher tortoises and owls.
  • Buildings: The education center and gift shop is wheelchair accessible. The door opens with a push button.
  • Dog-friendly: No.
3

Carillon Conservation Pond Trail, St. Pete

Alligator in a pond

Look for gators from the raised wooden boardwalk at Carillon Conservation Pond Trail. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

According to Beth, the Carillon Conservation Pond Trail is very accessible and offers lots of possible wildlife sightings. 

  • Location: 100 Fountain Pkwy. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33716
  • Parking: One disability parking spot with access stripes, but there’s no disability signage.
  • Bathrooms: No bathrooms.
  • Trails: This 1.25-mile trail – mostly paved with a short section of wooden boardwalk – winds around a large pond. Look for roseate spoonbills and 'gators from the two covered lookouts over the water.
  • Dog-friendly: Yes.
4

Carillon Wildlife Habitat Conservation Area, St. Pete

A boardwalk along a small lake in the Carillon Wildlife Habitat Conservation Area.

Watch for wildlife along the lakefront boardwalk in the Carillon Wildlife Habitat Conservation AreaPhoto: Beth Stombaugh

The Carillon Wildlife Habitat Conservation Area is in a commercial area west of the Carillon Conservation Pond Trail in north St. Pete, but you’ll want to drive between them.

  • Location: 970 Lake Carillon Dr., St. Petersburg, FL 33716
  • Parking: Beth suggests parking in the farthest spot at the Hilton. The trail is in view, about 30 feet away.
  • Bathrooms: No bathrooms.
  • Trails: The .9-mile wooden boardwalk and cement trail loops around a small lake, past a bell tower and through a small wooded area. Beth says she often sees roseate spoonbills, alligators and a wide variety of birds along this very accessible trail even though it’s near a hotel and an office building. 
  • Dog-friendly: Yes.
5

Clam Bayou Nature Preserve, St. Pete

Paved trail with woman walking dog at Clam Bayou Nature Preserve.

Nature enthusiasts can enjoy paved trails at Clam Bayou Nature Preserve. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

In the Broadwater neighborhood in south St. Pete, Clam Bayou Nature Preserve is popular with kayakers for its launch and paddling trail system. This park has one accessible picnic shelter.

  • Location: 3285 40th Way S., St. Petersburg, FL 33711
  • Parking: One disability parking spot.
  • Bathrooms: Two accessible unisex bathrooms with grab bars and sinks are reached by a long, steep ramp.
  • Trails: From the parking lot, head down the .4-mile out-and-back cement path and synthetic-wood boardwalk. Watch for osprey from the bay overlook, reached by a ramp, or head out the walkway onto a small dock. Another, cement trail leads to the Skyway Trail, eight miles in total. Metal and synthetic-wood lookouts provide views of mangroves and Boca Ciega Bay.
  • Dog-friendly: Yes.
6

Crescent Lake Park, St. Pete

A shady boardwalk at Crescent Lake Park

Enjoy the shade of oaks, banyans and other trees at Crescent Lake Park. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Large banyan and oak trees cast ample shade in Crescent Lake Park, north of downtown St. Pete, providing a beautiful respite for people and wildlife and a hub of community life. The dog park is accessible through a gate. In winter, look for migrating white pelicans on the lake. In addition to its paved paths, this park has a playground, although it doesn’t have ramps or other elements of universal design, making it inaccessible to wheelchair users.

  • Location: 1320 5th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  • Parking: A paved lot with two disability parking spots is near the baseball fields. Just a short walk or roll will take visitors to the path that circles the lake.
  • Bathrooms: There are no bathrooms in the park.
  • Trails: One of the main attractions is a one-mile, partially shaded cement trail that winds around the lake. Rest in the shade of a banyan tree and look for shorebirds, ducks and otters. A second, half-mile cement path meanders through a treed and grassy area near the lake.
  • Dog-friendly: Yes. Dog park with separate areas for small and large dogs.
7

Demens Landing Park, St. Pete

view of the pier at Demens Landing Park

Enjoy views of Tampa Bay and the St. Pete Pier from Demens Landing. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Demens Landing Park, on St. Pete’s downtown bayfront sits on a small peninsula between the St. Pete Pier and Albert Whitted Airport, with great views of both. Beth said one of the paths goes right along the seawall, meaning someone in a chair can get very close to the water and enjoy unobstructed views of the bay, the pier and the municipal marina. This dog-friendly park has four accessible picnic areas, three with shade.

  • Location: Bayshore Drive & 2nd Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  • Parking: One disability spot with access stripes about 40 yards from the park, and two disability spots with stripes behind the marina, about 15 yards from the park.
  • Bathrooms: According to Beth, there’s one “accessible” stall with two grab bars, but the bathroom is not ADA-compliant. There’s no room for a wheelchair beside the toilet, and she couldn’t close the stall door because of the length of her wheelchair.
  • Trails: A cement path runs along the bay, with paved access to the marina and boat ramps. Another cement path runs about half a mile along the entire grassy area under some shade trees. Beth noted that there are some uneven patches of broken sidewalk on both paths.
  • Dog-friendly: Yes.
8

Pinellas Trail, St. Pete

The Pinellas Trail with lane markers for bikes and pedestrians.

The Pinellas Trail extends from St. Pete to Tarpon Springs to the north.

St. Pete is the southern end of the Pinellas Trail, the popular, 54-mile rail trail that starts in Tarpon Springs.

  • Location: From Tarpon Springs to St. Pete
  • Parking: Parking is available at various points along the trail, including along 1st Avenue on the south side of Pioneer Park in St. Pete.
  • Bathrooms: There are some park bathrooms as well as bathrooms at businesses along the trail.
  • Trails: The trail is accessible to bikes, pedestrians and people in wheelchairs, so Beth recommends staying to the right and watching for passing e-bikes and regular bikes. She also noted that the portions of the trail where it goes over some bridges can be steep.
  • Dog-friendly: Yes.
9

Sawgrass Lake Park, St. Pete

Sawgrass Lake Park boardwalk entrance and sign, surrounded by nature

In Sawgrass Lake Park, wander along the park's boardwalks and trails, looking for resident and migrating birds.

A 400-acre park built on a large maple swamp, Sawgrass Lake Park serves as home to resident wildlife as well as migrating birds in spring and fall. Beth said this is one of her favorite parks due to its combination of accessible boardwalk, paved trails and hard-packed dirt paths, providing lots of opportunities to see alligators, shorebirds, turtles, butterflies, otters and armadillos. Entrance and parking are free, and a nature center provides an introduction to the park's plant and animal life.

  • Location: 7400 25th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33702
  • Parking: A total of five disability parking spots with access stripes are found in three locations along the park road. For easiest access to the boardwalk trail and bathroom, park in the last disability parking spots.
  • Bathrooms: There’s one bathroom in the park, with one accessible stall with grab bars. There’s not enough room to fit a wheelchair next to the toilet, making transfers more difficult. Also, if your chair or scooter is long, you may not be able to close the stall door. The sink is accessible.
  • Trails: Cross a small bridge near the last accessible parking spots to reach the Sawgrass & Maple Trail, a mile-long wooden boardwalk that loops past the lake and back to the bridge through partial shade. Several benches along the boardwalk are shaded by accessible shelters, but the overlook tower isn’t accessible. Along a short section of the trail, you might hear some traffic noise from nearby I-275. Intersecting with the boardwalk, the Hammock Trail is a mile-long, hard-packed dirt trail with some rocks and exposed tree roots. Beth said it was pretty easy to navigate in her manual wheelchair, although it might flood or get muddy right after it rains. A 1.5-mile asphalt trail runs the length of the park, along the water and past accessible picnic shelters.
  • Dog-friendly: Yes. Dogs are allowed in the park, but not on the boardwalk.
10

Vinoy Park, North Shore Park and Flora Wylie Park, St. Pete

A woman runs North Bay Trail at Vinoy Park during sunrise

North Bay Trail stretches from Demens Landing Park to Rio Vista Park and is a paved, scenic route in downtown St. Pete.

Vinoy Park, North Shore Park and Flora Wylie Park, along St. Pete’s bayfront, are seamlessly connected and all very accessible, Beth said. The outdoor exercise zone near Flora Wylie Park has two arm machines that are wheelchair-accessible, and the North Shore dog park is accessible. The beach area and sand volleyball courts at North Shore Park aren’t wheelchair-accessible.

  • Location: Vinoy Park is at 701 Bayshore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. The other parks are just to the north.
  • Parking: Each parking lot has at least four disability spots with access stripes. Parking for Flora Wylie Park is along the street.
  • Bathrooms: Beth said the bathrooms located in North Shore Park aren’t wheelchair accessible.
  • Trails: A partially shaded, three-mile concrete path runs the length of all three parks along the bay, connecting the green spaces. Bikes are also present, so Beth suggests staying to the right. An accessible, .1-mile brick path at the Gizella Kopsick Arboretum by North Shore Park leads to more than 500 palm trees and cycads with identifying signs.
  • Dog-friendly: Yes. North Shore Dog Park has separate areas for small and large dogs.
11

Weedon Island Preserve, St. Pete

Paved wooded trail in Weedon Preserve

Trails wind through historically significant Weedon Island Preserve. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Set on the western shore of Tampa Bay, Weedon Island Preserve is known as a birding and fishing spot with a rich cultural history. It’s laced with accessible trails that provide abundant opportunities to enjoy wildlife in aquatic and upland ecosystems.

  • Location: 1800 Weedon Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702
  • Parking: The parking area, which is next to the Cultural & Natural History Center, has six disability spots with access stripes. 
  • Bathrooms: There are ADA-compliant bathrooms in the Cultural & Natural History Center and by the pier. The center is open limited hours, and it can be difficult to find the pier bathrooms, which are down the access road, far from the parking lot.
  • Trails: The half-mile, paved, mostly sunny Upland Trail, behind the Cultural & Natural History Center, connects the Tower Boardwalk Trail to the Bay Boardwalk Trail. The Tower Boardwalk Trail is a .75-mile, mostly sunny loop of wooden and synthetic-wood boardwalk with an accessible pond lookout. And the Bay Boardwalk is 1.2 miles of wooden and synthetic-wood boardwalk that passes through mangroves and other trees in full sun and some shade, with accessible lookouts over a pond and the bay.
  • Buildings: The entrance to the Cultural & Natural History Center is ADA-compliant. Most displays are visual, but there are a few interactive displays with audio.
  • Dog-friendly: No.
12

Clam Bayou Nature Park, Gulfport

Boardwalk at Clam Bayou Nature Park.

Dolphins and manatees live in the waters near Clam Bayou Nature Park. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Clam Bayou Nature Park, a 10-acre nature preserve with a short waterfront trail and extensive views of Clam Bayou and Boca Ciega Bay, helps protect the habitats of fiddler crabs, dolphins and manatees, among other species.

  • Location: 29th Avenue South & Miriam Street South, Gulfport, FL 33711
  • Parking: Two disability parking spots with access stripes by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary building.
  • Bathrooms: No bathrooms.
  • Trails: Along the short, .2-mile cement path leading from the disability parking spots, see lots of pelicans, dolphins and fish. An accessible fish-cleaning station and wooden dock can be reached from the path, which runs along the seawall on Boca Ciega Bay. Beth said a second trail, which is crushed shells on hard-packed dirt, wasn’t accessible to her in her manual wheelchair but may be accessible to others.
  • Dog-friendly: Yes.
13

Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde

boardwalk leading to white sand beach lined with dunes with beautiful green water at Fort De Soto

Fort De Soto Park offers beach boardwalks and beach wheelchairs, but no Mobi-Mats. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Set on five interconnected islands extending into Tampa Bay, Fort De Soto Park’s 1,000-plus acres are filled with long beaches, multiple piers and historic sites, all linked together by an accessible long-distance trail.

The park recently went to a kiosk or app-based paid parking system, but note that visitors with disability plates or placard can park in a disability spot for free.

With its easy-to-find disability parking, accessible bathrooms, wide variety of wildlife and accessible bay and Gulf piers, this is definitely one of Beth’s favorite local parks. 

She said the kayak rental area is accessible, and she has found the employees to be very accommodating. “They have helped me get in and out of the kayak and safely watched my wheelchair until I returned,” she said. 

There are no Mobi-Mats on the beaches here, but there are five manual beach wheelchairs for free use. “Ask at the tollbooth, and a ranger will bring a chair for your use to the North Beach or East Beach,” she said. “Leave the chair when you’re done, and the ranger will retrieve it.”

Both piers are easily accessible, and the Gulf Pier is a great spot to see dolphins and manatees in spring and summer. Boats to Shell Key and Egmont Key leave from the Gulf Pier, but they’re not accessible via Fort De Soto Park. Take a guided tour of the fort area, which is wheelchair accessible.

  • Location: 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL 33715
  • Parking: Parking lots throughout the park have between two and six disability parking spots, each with access stripes.
  • Bathrooms: All bathrooms throughout the park have wheelchair-accessible stalls with grab bars.
  • Trails: A .4-mile, barrier-free loop behind the ranger station is part hard-packed dirt, part pavement. Six signs along the trail provide visual and touch-activated auditory information about the park’s plants and wildlife, although one of them wasn’t working when Beth visited. Head out to explore the nearly eight miles of paved multiuse trail that traverses the park. Beth notes that they’re also bike paths, so she suggests staying to the right and watching for e-bikes. Armadillos, osprey and gopher tortoises are among the resident wildlife you may spot in the park.
  • Buildings: The visitor center, gift shop, snack bar and bait shop are all wheelchair accessible.
  • Dog-friendly: Yes. Dog park with separate areas for small and large dogs. Dog beach with dog wash.

Find More Accessible Parks

Keep exploring our beautiful natural areas, and find details on accessibility.