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If you are looking for a picturesque stroll or a tranquil ride through nature close to an urban setting, then consider St. Petersburg’s Skyway Trail. The trail showcases the best of Clam Bayou’s pristine natural environment. Beginning at the popular Pinellas Trail on 7th Terrace South, the paved trail skirts Child’s Lake and then cuts through Child’s Park Recreation Center. From there it follows the course of a stream as it winds south, past Thurgood Marshall Middle School and Twin Brooks Golf Course and into what is arguably the highlight of the route: the Clam Bayou Nature Preserve. This estuarine environment has been restored after years of destructive urban development. The trail is elevated, providing a good vantage point from which to take in the diverse native habitats of the park, including marsh and mangrove forest. The park is a birder’s paradise, with a wealth of wading birds including the roseate spoonbill, ibis, egret, blue heron, pelicans and many more. Visitors will also be delighted by occasional glimpses of manatee and dolphin. Clam Bayou is popular with kayakers too, for obvious reasons.
Continuing south, the trail begins to parallel 37th Street. At the corner of US 19 and the Pinellas Bayway, it meets the Bayway Trail, which heads west towards Fort de Soto. Past that, it continues south for a little, crosses underneath I-275/ US-19 to the marina on 58th Avenue.
Remember to pack sunscreen as there is not much shade to be found on the trail.
Parking is free at the Clam Bayou Nature Preserve (4099 34th Ave S, St. Petersburg). You can also find restrooms and water fountains at this location.
At 22nd Avenue south, across the stream from the Thurgood Marshall Middle School, you can find parking at Queen Dennis Park (4129 22nd Ave S, St. Petersburg).
Finally, near the northern end of the Skyway Trail you can park at the Childs Park Recreation Center (4419 13th Avenue S).
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