Experience Cockroach Bay

A view of a line of yellow flowers near the water.

Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park is a collection of small islands near Little Manatee River. Although this collection of islands is only accessible by boat, don’t let that discourage you from experiencing the beauty of this humble park.

Due to habitat restoration efforts, this park has become an ideal place to do some birding. Year-round, varieties of native and migrating birds can be found soaring above and darting between trees. Fall through spring are the most active times of the year. During this time, sharp-shinned hawks, peregrine falcons and American Kestrels can be seen.

Paddling is also a popular activity at Cockroach Bay. The park has two main waterway trails, the Horseshoe Crab Trail and the Snook Canoe Trail. These slow-moving waterways provide the opportunity for a relaxed paddle through a maze of mangroves and seagrass beds. The surrounding landscape is home to a variety of wildlife, including sea turtles and rattlesnakes, which can be seen along the water’s edge.