Florida Nature

Hillsborough River State Park

Just a 28-mile drive northeast of Tampa in Thonotosassa, Florida, you can enter a completely different world, away from the hustle and bustle of the modern city and into the primitive landscape of mother nature’s offerings.

A place where one can get in touch with the nature lover within and rediscover the beauty of the outdoors that we sometimes take for granted. Under the dense trees, along the river’s edge, and through the wetlands, one has the opportunity to spot otters, alligators, turtles, many species of birds, among other creatures that live freely in the park.

Walk the 1 1/2 mile, easy hiking, River Rapids Trail, and listen to the tranquil sounds of singing birds and the rushing water. Enjoy your surroundings’ peacefulness but be sure to keep your eye out for the wildlife that calls this state park home.

There are 5 trails at Hillsborough State Park, and whether you are an experienced hiker or just the occasional casual walker, you will be sure to find a trail to your liking.

The trail along the river’s edge is elevated, giving one a spectacular view of all the wildlife swimming and sunning down below; however, if you would prefer to have a closer look and view the park from the waters of the river, canoe and kayak rentals are available in the concession area.

Picnicking is also very popular at Hillsborough State Park, and there are numerous picnic tables and pavilions scattered throughout the park. Picnic areas are equipped with grills with restrooms and playgrounds nearby.

An ADA accessible 1/2 acre pool with plenty of grassy areas to sunbathe is located at the concession area. There is a charge of $4.00 per person for all-day use of the pool area, and the pool is open from 9 am to 5 pm, weather permitting. (pool is also closed when temperatures are below 70 degrees)

The Wetlands Nature Trail and the Park Loop are suitable for bicyclists, and bike rental is available at the park concession. Cyclists under the age of 16 must wear a helmet.

For the tent camper or RV’er, campsites are available within the park, with a maximum length for RV being 50 feet. Electric is provided on most campsites, with water, fire ring and picnic table provided at all. Restrooms, hot showers, and laundry facilities are provided within each loop of campsites, and a dump station is also provided for convenience. Click for more information on reserving a campsite at any Florida State Park.

Hillsborough state park is located at 15402 US Highway 301 in Thonotosassa, Florida, and is open from 8 am to sundown 365 days a year. Entry to the park is $6.00 per vehicle with a limit of 8 people per vehicle.

Suggestions for your best experience

  • Wear walking or hiking shoes
  • Do not wear sandals
  • Apply bug spray often
  • Bring a good camera and or binoculars
  • Bring plenty of bottled water

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