Hillsborough River State Park

15402 US 301 N., Thonotosassa, 33592
(813) 987-6771
Daily, 8:00am to sundown


This site, a must-see for anyone visiting the Tampa area, is one of Florida’s oldest and most scenic state parks. Hardwood/cabbage palm hammocks, pine flatwoods, cypress swamps and freshwater wetlands provide valuable shelter for wildlife. Hike the extensive trail system (7.3 miles), or paddle downstream on the Hillsborough River State Paddling Trail, which has a few Class II rapids and also connects with several other birding trail sites. Look for Green Heron and Least Bittern, as well as Wood Stork, White Ibis and Wood Duck. Search carefully among the river rocks in spring and fall for Northern and Louisiana Waterthrushes (and more than 25 other warbler species, especially in fall migration), and look in the hammocks along the river for Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Swainson’s Thrush and Acadian Flycatcher. Seven woodpecker species can be found in the park’s woodlands, including Red-headed and Hairy. Butterfly viewers should look for hackberry emperors and eastern tiger swallowtails gliding through the trees. About 25 percent of the park lies in lowland areas, which are prone to seasonal flooding; call ahead for trail conditions. Biking is allowed on the Wetlands Restoration Nature Trail and the loop road. Cabins and a variety of camping options are available. Bicycles, canoes and kayaks can be rented from the park concessionaire, which also operates the park café, pool and gift shop.

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