At approximately 8700 acres, Brooker Creek Preserve is the largest natural area in Pinellas County. It consists primarily of forested wetlands and pine flatwoods. Bordered by dense urban development, the Preserve provides both a unique refuge for native flora and fauna as well as an opportunity for citizens to explore the natural beauty of wild Florida. Brooker Creek Preserve is a wilderness island surrounded on all sides by urban development.
Brooker Creek Preserve is not a park, but a wilderness area. Management for the Preserve rests with the Pinellas County Department of Parks and Conservation Resources.
Brooker Creek Preserve was established in 1992 by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners for the conservation, protection, and restoration of its native natural resources. Represented by a confederation of partners inside its boundaries, the Preserve provides a wide spectrum of common management goals from wellhead security to the protection of an unusual array of flora and fauna native to west-central Florida.
The Preserve also serves to protect a significant portion of the Brooker Creek Watershed . The Preserves namesake, Brooker Creek, is the only stream that enters Lake Tarpon and is a major influence on its water quality. The numerous channels of Brooker Creek enter the Preserve from wetlands in Hillsborough County and flow through a maze of swamps and uplands within the Preserve before combining into a single stream east of Lake Tarpon.
A complex of hiking and equestrian trails provide visitors an opportunity to explore the Preserve’s many ecosystems. Over four (4) miles of Wildlands Hiking Trails are accessible from the Environmental Education Center. Hikers learn about the Preserve on the 1.75-mile self-interpretive Friends Trail, located at the end of nearby Lora Lane. Also, nine (9) miles of equestrian trails, the Scenic Horse Trail and Exercise Horse Trail, meander through pinelands and open fields providing visitors with an incomparable outdoor experience.
Brooker Creek Preserve is an important natural resource in west-central Florida. Its management remains a priority for stewardship in the Florida's most densely populated county. It is a place where generations of visitors may learn about sustainable relationships between people and their environments. Through the continued support of citizens and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, Brooker Creek Preserve remains “Our Wildest Place.”