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image of bridge Seen from the Hillsborough River

Hillsborough River State Park

by Be a Vet in Tampa Bay

Hillsborough River State Park is a beautiful natural destination located just a short drive from Tampa. It’s a perfect spot for active adults and families looking for outdoor activities and a chance to experience Florida’s natural beauty.


The park offers a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, and paddling. There are over seven miles of hiking trails that wind through the park’s diverse landscape, including forests, wetlands, and riverbanks. The trails are suitable for hikers of all skill levels and offer stunning views of the park’s flora and fauna.

For biking enthusiasts, there is a two-mile paved loop that circles the park’s main picnic area. The loop is perfect for families with young children or those looking for a leisurely ride. There are also several unpaved trails that offer more challenging terrain for experienced mountain bikers.

One of the highlights of the park is the Hillsborough River, which flows through the heart of the park. Visitors can rent canoes, kayaks, or paddleboards to explore the river and get up close with Florida’s wildlife. Along the river, visitors are likely to see alligators, turtles, and a variety of birds, including herons and egrets.

In addition to outdoor activities, Hillsborough River State Park offers plenty of opportunities for picnicking and camping. The park has several picnic areas, complete with tables and grills, and there are several campsites available for overnight stays.

The park is also conveniently located near other local attractions. Just a short drive away is Busch Gardens, a theme park and zoo that is perfect for families with children. The University of South Florida is also nearby, offering cultural events and performances throughout the year.

Overall, Hillsborough River State Park is a must-visit destination for active adults and families in the Tampa area. With its beautiful natural surroundings, diverse activities, and proximity to other local attractions, it’s the perfect place to spend a day or a weekend exploring Florida’s natural beauty.