James E. Grey Preserve
James E. Grey Preserve is a New Port Richey city park that preserves 80 acres along
the Pithlachascotee River. The park is completely surrounded by an urbanized area
- making it a special treat for local residents who want to experience natural surroundings.
A variety of recreational facilities are available, including a picnic area, kayak
launch, boardwalk and easy hiking trails.
The Pithlachascotee River, known by locals as the "Cotee River", is a
blackwater stream with headwaters at Crews Lake that flows through the Starkey Wilderness
Preserve, past the Grey Preserve, and through downtown New Port Richey, before flowing
into the Gulf of Mexico. The river is navigable by kayak or canoe up to a point
about a half mile upstream from Grey Preserve. It's meandering course along
the southern boundary of the preserve is a beautiful stretch to paddle or hike along,
and is a highlight of this park.
Entrance to the park is off Plathe Road just west of Little Road. Gates are open
from sun up until sun down each day. The gravel entrance road into the park winds
past the kayak launch area, and continues to a large parking area near the picnic
shelters and playground. There are 4 covered picnic shelters and a large event pavilion available for use
by the public. Restroom facilities are located in the picnic area.
There are two miles of nature trails
winding throughout the preserve, including a loop trail that circumnavigates an
isolated bayou. A half-mile long ADA accessible boardwalk extends amidst the floodplain
of the river and ends at an overlook of the Cotee River. This is a popular spot
for fishing, or an occasional glimpse of a dolphin or manatee.