There’s More to Explore this Hiking Spree Season – Hillsborough County

All three Florida state parks in Hillsborough County make the 2022 trail list for first time

If you’re looking for outdoor adventure and the chance to explore the beauty and nature of Florida, you can add three new stops to the already adventurous 2022 Hiking Spree trail list – all three Florida state parks in Hillsborough County. Located just a short drive from the hustle of the city, these environmental wonderlands offer a variety of opportunities to slow down and enjoy the tranquility of nature. The trails range from 1 to 3 miles, each with unique terrain challenges and plenty of birdwatching and wildlife to observe.

Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year. Leashed dogs are welcome and must be kept under control, with waste bagged and properly disposed. Parking fees vary by park and number of vehicle occupants.

A blue heron walks near the water at Hillsborough River State Park

Old Agrico Hiking Trail at Alafia River State Park
14326 S. County Rd. 39, Lithia FL 33547
Trail length: 1 mile (Parking and restroom near the trail entrance)

Alafia River State Park is located about 30 minutes southeast of Brandon on the site of a reclaimed phosphate mine, providing some variation from the relatively flat topography of West Central Florida. Hikers can explore hilly trails through forests and flatwoods. This park also offers many opportunities for birdwatching and enjoying wildlife like deer, bobcat, river otter, fox, and gopher tortoise. Alafia River State Park does border several bodies of water, so use caution while exploring, as alligators may be nearby. 

Wetland Trail at Hillsborough River State Park
15402 U.S. Hwy. 301 N., Thonotosassa FL 33592
Trail length: 3.3 miles (Parking near the trail entrance. See map for the nearest restroom.)

Just a short drive northeast of downtown Tampa, Hillsborough River State Park provides a refuge from city life, with a historic past. The park opened in 1938 after the Civilian Conservation Corps discovered the state’s only Class II rapids on the Hillsborough River. Several different habitats can be found here, including pine flatwoods, floodplain swamp, hardwood and hydric hammock, cypress swamp, and grass pond. The Wetland Trail offers a diverse selection of plants and animals, including alligators, Sherman fox squirrels, bobcats, gopher tortoise, and Seminole bats. Don’t forget to pack …….

Source: https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/newsroom/2021/12/03/theres-more-to-explore-this-hiking-spree-season

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