Famed naturalist John Muir said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” Being able to get outdoors in a beautiful setting and be a part of nature is truly a gift—and living in a retirement mecca that happens to be within just a few miles of stunning beaches means you get that gift year-round. Take a look at why Palm Harbor parks are such delights.
Palm Harbor Parks: Perfect for the Perks of Nature
Palm Harbor offers retirees the perfect location for getting outside. With direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, Palm Harbor can boast beachcombing, fishing, boating, bicycling, kayaking, diving and so much more. Sunset strolls under by moonlight. Yoga on the beach or in the park. Lunch outside most of the year. Lots and lots of ways of getting that precious fresh air!
Why is this so beneficial for older adults?
- Nature does away with monotony. Retiring adults can struggle to adjust with a day that is not filled with work or family obligations and thus leaves a lot of unfilled time. Being able to get out and take a walk, explore a natural preserve, or just feel the sun on your face can work wonders for mental relief.
- Nature chases depression away. There’s something inspiring about being in nature that can lift a person’s spirits and help prevent depression. The lapping of waves on the beach. Birdsong. A breeze. Even Vitamin D, which is said to produce a positive outlook and boost the immune system.
- Nature is good for overall health. Being outdoors can help us recover from injuries quicker. Strengthen our bones. Help us engage with others. Improve mental health by improving our focus. Reduce stress, lower our heart rate and relax our muscles.
There are lots more benefits to being in Nature—and lots of Palm Harbor Parks where you can get them all.
Palm Harbor’s climate allows for outdoor activity most of the year and there are plenty of walking trails to enjoy in the area.
A great place to begin is John Chestnut, Sr. Park Boardwalk and Nature Trail Located along Lake Tarpon, this park features various nature trails and a boat ramp. It’s a great place to exercise, picnic, birdwatch, watch wildlife, and enjoy nature. There are many deer out and about at all hours of the day. Also, alligator sightings are not rare, especially during the cooler winter months. Also keep an eye out for gopher tortoises and armadillos.
More enjoying walking excursions can be found on the many trails at Brooker Creek Nature Preserve, featuring almost five miles of hiking with four loops and a Bird Path. This is the largest natural area in Pinellas county and a favorite among Palm Harbor Parks.
Those who love to walk by the water can try Courtney Campbell Causeway Scenic Highway & Trail which is open to both walkers and bikers and connects to recreational trails on both sides of Tampa Bay. Hundreds daily enjoy the beaches, boat launch, vistas and fishing opportunities along this 9.5-mile causeway across Old Tampa Bay.
Wall Springs Park is a 210-acre park located in Palm Harbor, Florida. The park includes a historical natural spring which was used as a bathing area from the turn of the 20th century until the 1960s.
Wall Springs Park offers an observation tower for visitors to look out over the Gulf of Mexico as well as a nature trail, boardwalk, and playground. Fishing is also allowed at Wall Springs Park.
Palm Harbor Parks: Get Back to Nature
For many seniors, the spiritual rewards gained from connecting with nature make for more purposeful days. One of the best spots in the area is Moccasin Lake Nature Park, featuring 51 acres of nature preserve and boardwalks with a variety of wildlife to observe, including gopher turtles, raccoons and many birds. The park offers camps, classes, programs and meeting rentals.
For a quiet visit Folly Farm Nature Preserve offers an easy half-mile loop with a butterfly garden, and signs detailing local flora and fauna. Birders love the Largo Central Park Nature Preserve, home to more than 130 species of birds, as well as hundreds of wildlife species, with a two-story observation tower and a .75 mile trail. A 5-mile kayak/canoe route begins at the park and ends at Park Boulevard.
Another option is the Florida Botanical Garden in Largo, with something blooming year-round, or USF Botanical Gardens featuring seasonal festivals and other events for plant lovers. Golf is another way to spend a day outdoors at courses like Innisbrook Golf Resort, home of the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship and Tarpon Springs Golf Course, one of the oldest courses in the nation. It’s another great way to nurture the mind and spirit while also reaping physical fitness benefits.
Honeymoon Island State Park, which is accessible via the Dunedin Causeway, has four miles of stunning beaches, not to mention mangrove swamps, tidal flats, a pine forest, nature trails and plenty of wildlife (hawks, alligators, snakes, etc.).
Caladesi Island State Park is accessible only by boat, but ask any local: it’s worth it. Walk the pristine beaches, follow a 3-mile nature trail walk to a historic homestead or just enjoy the ocean breeze.
Connecting with nature is good for you—and Palm Harbor Parks make it easy. So does St. Mark Village. Our residents have the advantage of accessing the great outdoors year-round. Whether it’s going for a stroll, joining the group for an outing to a local destination, or having family over for a picnic, at St. Mark Village, you’re surrounded by beauty and fresh air. We invite you to come see what we mean!
Come explore the great outdoors with us. Download our free guide, A Guide to Living Well During Retirement in Palm Harbor, Florida. Or contact us today.