The unexpected beauty of Clearwater's Moccasin Lake Nature Park

Hidden in the city of Clearwater is a 51-acre natural oasis known as Moccasin Lake Park.

The nature preserve is filled with trails, boardwalks, and a wide array of wildlife. Recreational programmer Lloyd Simmons says visitors can expect to see alligators and different types of snakes, but the most unique feature of the park is their birds of prey area.  

"We have 24 different kinds of birds at the park. Everything from eagles to vultures to hawks, owls and such," said Simmons.

These birds have been rehabilitated but cannot be rereleased back into the wild because of their injuries.

The park also features a classroom building that can be rented for occasions such as birthday parties or volunteer events. 

"What's great about the classroom is you're surrounded by butterfly gardens and a turtle pond. It's a beautiful area," Simmons continued.

Even the hottest days feel a bit cooler in the park.  "When you're walking on our trails, because they're so well shaded, even though the sun is out, you're looking at five-degrees cooler walks. It's much nicer.”

Admission to Moccasin Lake Park is free. 

LINK: To learn more about their hours and facilities, visit