Caladesi Island, Honeymoon Island, and Anclote Key are three mostly undeveloped and protected barrier islands of Florida's Suncoast near Clearwater and Tarpon Springs. Of the three, Honeymoon Island is the only one that has road access, making it also the most visited. The main attraction for most visitors is the beach on Honeymoon Island, including the dog beach area (as not many beaches allow dogs). However, there's other attractions too. The primary hiking trails are the Opsrey Trail and Pelican Cove Trail, which lead to the north tip of a peninsula that juts out from the main island and into St. Joseph Sound. The Pelican Cove Trail is the highlight of the trail system, providing views of both Pelican Cove and St. Joseph Sound, where you can even spot a manatee. If this isn't enough for you, you can hike along the island beach to North Point, or take a ferry to neighboring Caladesi Island, which has its own trail system. This hike occurred on Sunday, June 26th, 2016. My plan was to hike the east and southwest sections of the Osprey Trail, as well as the Pelican Cove Trail.
Most Florida islands with beaches have become developed, due to beaches acting as a magnet for vacationers and resort developments. Luckily, Caladesi Island - a barrier island off the coastline of Pinellas County - was purchased by the state of Florida. It is now accessible only by boat or ferry, or by a long walk along the beach from Clearwater Beach through sand-filled Dunedin Pass. Today, we have a couple of miles of undisturbed beaches on the island, as well as a several-mile hiking trail that leads through the island scrub and into a hammock where you will get to see the Scharrer Homestead. That is, if you're brave enough to face the mosquitoes. This hike occurred on Sunday, June 26th, 2016. My plan was to take the ferry from Honeymoon Island to Caladesi Island in order to hike the trail system on Caladesi Island. From the ferry dock, I would take the Island Trail to the Hammock Loop. Then, I would hike the Hammock Loop, as well as the spur trail to the Scharrer Homestead, before taking the Beach Trail and then returning to the ferry dock via the beach.
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