E. G. Simmons Park

2401 19th Ave. NW, Ruskin, 33570
(813) 671-7655
8am to 7pm

camping

This park is an excellent, easily accessed family friendly site, with several camping options available. Mangroves, sheltered mudflats and sandy beachfront habitats showcase some of Tampa Bay’s best waterbird-watching action. Watch Reddish Egrets dancing in the park’s shallows to startle and locate fish, and Ospreys and Brown Pelicans plunge-diving for their meals, and Roseate Spoonbills sweeping their strangely-shaped, tactile bills through the shallow waters. Wintering shorebirds like American Avocets and Western Sandpipers are common on the park’s beach and flats; flocks of Black Skimmers gather and loaf on the sand. A variety of landbirds can be spotted in the “higher elevation” habitats—scattered hammocks and patches of pines and palms are located throughout the park. Loggerhead Shrikes are likely to be seen here, as well as Gray Kingbirds, Great Horned Owls, and Common Ground-Doves. Take advantage of the kayak launch (and rentals if you don’t have your own) to paddle your way around the mangroves and the bay in search of waterbirds and manatees; you can also kayak southward to nearby Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve for a longer adventure.

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