My first thought about this 1,284 acre Florida wonderland full of outdoor activity opportunities was that it is in a perfect location for RV vacationers wanting to visit both the Disney theme parks and the Gulf Coast beaches. It is centrally located in Plant City, Florida and a 45 minute or so drive to the east or west will find you either at the Gulf of Mexico or Walt Disney World.
After spending just a few hours at Edward Medard Conservation Park, I came to the conclusion that not only was this a great place for a camping vacation, it is actually a great place to just spend the day playing in the great Florida outdoors.
John and I visited the park intending to spend a few hours hiking the 1.25 mile Singing Bluffs Trail, and the 2.6 mile levee trail, but as it turns out not only did we spend the whole day there, but we also ended up coming back for a second day of outdoor fun.
Watch the video below to get the full story
The Singing Bluff Trail was definitely a fun trail to hike with its steep elevation changes and was a nice change of pace from the typical Flat Florida trail. The land was once used for phosphate mining, which has left the land very hilly, making for a great workout when hiking this trail. Another unusual thing about this trail is all the vultures, hundreds of them in fact. We were astonished to see them all, and for whatever reason, the Singing Bluffs trail seems to be a favorite vulture hang-out.
The Singing Bluffs Trail can be found just past the entrance on the right hand side of the road. The entrance to the Levee Trail is located behind the canoe rental at the entrance to the park.
We knew a reservoir was within the park, but we did not realize how large it was or how scenic. Once we got a view of it from the trail, we just knew we wanted to rent a canoe and get out on the water. So we did just that, and what a great time we had. From the canoe, we got an up-close view of several alligators and wading birds, a view that you just can not get from shore. Civilization seemed a million miles away, and we enjoyed the peacefulness of the surroundings. Canoe/kayak rentals are only $25 for 4 hours.
The reservoir is home to many wading birds and provides a fantastic spot to bird watch. Of course, the reservoir also provides the perfect home for one of Florida’s best-known and largest reptiles, the alligator. Lots of them!
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has stocked the reservoir with Sunshine Bass and It is well known by the freshwater fishermen in the area to have some of the best fishing in all of central Florida. (A valid Florida Fishing License is Required)
The park provides a boat launching area with multiple ramps and docks. The fee for the use of the boat ramp is $5. From the number of small boats we saw out on the water, we figured that the rumors of this being a great place to fish, must be true.
Another popular outdoor activity at Edward Medard Park is bike riding. There are many paved roads throughout the park to take a leisurely ride and enjoy the scenery.
Disc Golf is a Florida outdoor activity that is becoming more and more popular, and there is an 18-hole course within the park.
There is a nice playground area with a sand volleyball court located nearby. Picnic tables with grills are scattered throughout the park.
Just beyond the playground is an area known as Sacred Hills. Because the land was once a phosphate mining site, it is unusually hilly, and atop these hills are large oak trees. What makes Sacred Hills so interesting and unique is the exposed roots of these large trees. Over time, probably due to intense storms such as Hurricane Irma, the hills have suffered erosion, and crevices and trenches have been formed within the hills, exposing the trees’ root system. These exposed roots seem to serve as an alternative to the playground, and John and I witnessed dozens of children climbing over and crawling through them as if the roots were some sort of a jungle gym.
We visited the campground area and found it to be quite inviting. The 40 site campground is first-come, first-serve, and each campsite has a picnic table, 30 amp electrical hook-up, water, and fire ring. The sites appeared to be large enough to handle any size RV without issue, and the road is wide enough that backing in should be a snap. The campground area has two restroom and shower facilities, and a dump station is provided for registered RV campers. Rates are very reasonable at just $24 per night. The sites are also available for tent camping.
We thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent at Edward Medard Conservation Park. If you enjoy the outdoors like John and I do, then you will love this park. We highly recommend it for the unique Florida trails, the unusual formations of Sacred Hills, the amazing bird watching along the shore, and the up-close view of gators you will get from a canoe or kayak.
Edward Medard Conservation Park is located at 6140 S. Turkey Creek Road in Plant City, Florida. The admission fee is $2.00 per carload up to eight people.
Pets are allowed in the park but must be kept on a leash. There is no swimming allowed in the reservoir.
Please make sure you watch the video at the top of this article to get a better view of this amazing outdoor experience.
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