Named in honor of John Chesnut, Sr.
, the Pinellas County Commissioner from
1937 to 1953, this park covers 255 acres and borders the 5 miles long Lake
Tarpon. Chesnut park has 13 picnic shelters that can be reserved every day
of the year. The park also has it's own boat ramp access to the Lake and
adequate parking for vehicles with trailers. A fishing pier is also
located at the park. This park is a popular launching site
for several fishing tournaments each year.
Lake Tarpon can accommodate boats with combustible engines, and provides great
fun for water skiers and jet skiers.
For family fun there are ample grills, picnic tables, shelters, playgrounds,
horseshoe pits, volleyball court, softball fields, water fountains, a dog park,
and multiple restrooms. Additionally, a canoe trail is a landlocked waterway connected to an interior
lake, but can only accommodate non-motorized engines. The park
accommodates roughly 800,000 visitors a year.
Nature lovers will enjoy all the natural wildlife found in the park. Here you can see raccoons, alligators
(don't feed them), many different species of birds and snakes, and turtles.
There are three nature
trails, each approximately 3,000 feet in length. The North Trail begins at
Shelter #10, running through a cypress swamp to the canoe trail—it does not loop
back. The Peggy Park Trail features a self-guided walk with brochure. The
elevated boardwalk runs along the boat ramp, leading to an elevated lookout
tower for a scenic overview of Lake Tarpon.
John Chesnut Park is conveniently located on the Pinellas Trail in the East
Lake area, so it's easily accessible to bikers, joggers, and anyone
rollerblading in from the trail.
It's a great way to get out of the hot Florida sun and enjoy nature in a quiet
peaceful and shaded setting.