By Kathalyn Gaither
More than 3,300 acres of beautiful uplands, multiple biking and hiking trails; a full-facility, primitive and youth campgrounds; ample canoeing and kayaking opportunities and a newly renovated half-acre swimming pool. That, and much, much, more is what await visitors who wish to spend some quality time outdoors in central Florida.
Hillsborough River State Park offers guests a bit of old-time Florida, from the natural wooded communities to the old buildings and pavilions built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the mid-1930s. The Hillsborough River Bridge, also built by the CCC, is a prominent feature of the park, spanning across the river. Freshwater anglers can test their skills in the river, which is plentiful with bass, bream and catfish.
A replica of Fort Foster – an 1837 fort from the Second Seminole War – is located within the park and ranger-led tours are offered every Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m.
Cypress swamps, pine flatwoods and hardwood hammocks comprise the forested woodlands that provide habitat for a variety of wildlife common to the area, including bobcats, deer, gopher tortoises, woodpeckers and owls.
Hikers have four trail options which include a small portion of the 1,400-mile Florida National Scenic Trail. The national trail begins in the Florida panhandle, extends east, then turns south winding through central Florida and ending at Big Cypress National Preserve.
Last year, the park was recognized by ReserveAmerica as: number one of America’s “Top 25 Canoeing Spots,” number one of America’s Top 25 “Water Recreation Parks” and number 15 of America’s “Top 100 Family Campgrounds.” So if you like to canoe, kayak, camp, swim, fish, hike or bike, Hillsborough River State Park has it all.
|If you would like to reprint or republish this content, please email us a quick note at DEPnews@dep.state.fl.us and let us know where this content will be placed.|