John Chesnut Sr. Park
formerly Brooker Creek Park
MAP -- Official Web Site
Built in cooperation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, this park was named and dedicated in 1979 as Brooker Creek Park. Eight years later, in December 1987, the park was renamed in honor of former County Commissioner John Chesnut, Sr. This 255-acre Pinellas County park is located on the Eastern Shore of Lake Tarpon (see lake maps) on East Lake Road, 2 miles north of Tampa Road or 5 miles south of Keystone Road.
There are three nature trails, including shell footpaths and wooden boardwalks through wet areas. Each trail is approximately 3,000 feet in length. The North Trail begins at Shelter #10 (see park map) and runs through a cypress swamp to the canoe trail. It does not loop back to the staring point as do the other two nature trails. The Peggy Park Trail has a brochure for a self-guided walk which follows the edge of Lake Tarpon and Brooker Creek. This trail was named after Wildlife Officer Peggy Park, who often patrolled and made friends on Lake Tarpon and was killed in the line of duty. The boardwalk alongside the boat ramp leads to an elevated Lookout Tower which provides a scenic overview of Lake Tarpon.
The canoe trail is a landlocked waterway connected to an interior lake. Canoes are not available to rent - bring your own. No motor powered vessels are allowed.
There is a preschool children's playground located lakeside in the park. This area has swings, slides and other play equipment designed for smaller children. Also set up lakeside is a volleyball court - please bring your own ball. Located nearby is a large play structure consisting of various slides recommended for older children. The center playground has swings, slides and a merry-go-round. Across from the center playground is a softball field which has enough open space for many recreational activities.
Hours: 7 AM until dark (closing time posted at entrance).
No sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages
Freshwater fishing license rules apply
All ramp users must be in 1/2 hour before posted closing time
No feeding or release of wild or domestic animals.
Groups may reserve shelters at no charge by calling 727 784-4686 to stop by the park office located in the maintenance area. No reservations on Sundays or holidays. Long distance calls will be returned collect if permission is given.
Here is a map of the park (167KB).
Take a look at the Pinellas County Chesnut Park web page.
Lake Tarpon Information Center
Most of the introductory text is from the park brochure.