George C. McGough Nature Park
The Parks in Pinellas County Florida
Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg
100 Parks in 100 Weeks!

George C. McGough Nature Park
11901 146th Street North

We begin this week with a personal observation.
There are Parks we have visited and found there is
just so much to see and/or do that we may end up
taking 200 or 300 photos.

Then it becomes hard
to show our thoughts about the best of a Park
in the twenty photos we try to limit to
in our photojournals. . .



The same often holds true in trying to tell the story. Twenty-six-acre McGough is one such Park and holds a place on our top ten favorites list to date. Our job is to try and show highlights of each Park so you might wish to visit it yourself. In short, we think you will come to love George C. McGough Nature Park just as much as we do.

We have heard McGough called "Turtle Park" and for good reason. The Turtle Pond is the first thing you see when entering from the parking lot. It is the destination for many. We have often found retired folk sitting in the Adirondack chairs along the pond taking in the aquatic antics while enjoying their morning coffee. It is just that kind of place.

In fact, if you were to go no farther into the Park you, too, could sit for hours watching the turtles and the bird life doing their thing. We spent over a half hour on a recent visit just watching and photographing a little Green Heron intently stalking his breakfast! On a given day you may see a Great Blue Heron enjoying the warm sun or an Anhinga with wings spread wide drying his feathers after a successful dive for some fast food - done his way.

If you manage to separate yourself from the Turtle Pond you might follow the paved path and enter the Nature Center building where you will find interesting displays about Florida wildlife as well as meet some live inhabitants – both bird and people - and get your questions answered.

When you step out the back door of the Center you will find the “homes” of the many Birds of Prey that call McGough home as they are no longer able to live in the wild. At last count there were 22 rescued, non-releasable birds. They are very well cared for by the many volunteers and often you will find them out and about with their volunteer handlers and both are always ready for photographs. Be sure to say hello to "Sarge" the resident American Eagle who is just as majestic as you have come to think all Eagles to be.

Now it's time to hit the McGough trails! They circle through the Park and out to the Intercoastal waterway where you can venture out on the long (very safe) pier to see more birds hunting food as well as boat traffic coming and going under the drawbridge that perhaps, until now, you have only seen from the top side as you traveled along Walsingham Road (688).

As you walk back on the pier towards land be sure to look up in the trees as we have often seen perched Osprey and Black Vultures on watch and Pelicans and other birds flying over. Take your time and enjoy all that is surrounding you.

Look for the owl houses that have been erected along the trails. Now and then you will see one completely taken over by bees or maybe inhabited by “someone” other than the intended owls.

There are picnic shelters and restrooms as well as a children's play area with a pint-sized zipline.

Please take a moment to comment and let us know what you think after you visit this beautiful Park or any of the other Parks we have visited to date.
George C. McGough Website
Virtual tour

Birds of Prey that call McGoug home

Google Satellite Map
(Enlarge (+) for a birds-eye view or decrease (-) to plot your route)
Let's go home! 
Entire Contents (c) Copyright Jack Armstrong 2022 All Rights Reserved
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