Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park

Cockroach marshes
Photo courtesy of www.floridastateparks.org

What is essentially a series of islands in the South Eastern region of Tampa Bay, Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park does not actually have cockroaches on the property. What early Spanish explorers called "cockroaches" were nothing more than horseshoe crabs, and at one point, there was an abundance of these little sea critters. While the islands are 617 acres, about 500 of those acres are mangrove swamp, which makes it the perfect place for fisherman and/or birdwatchers. Keep in mind the islands are only accessible by watercraft so there are no actual facilities on them. In two small creeks along the shores, canoeing and kayaking is allowed.