Hillsborough River Trail
Length: 3.4 mile loop
The Hillsborough River Trail is in Hillsborough River State Park along US 301 north of Tampa, south of Zephyrhills. Park at the River Rapids Nature Trail for a longer walk, or near the concession stand for the most direct access to the trail. Enjoy mostly level walking (with some drops into floodplain channels) through deeply shaded forests with many scenic views.
Hillsborough River State Park, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps
in 1936, is one of the oldest state parks in Florida. The river through the park is noted for its rapids and surrounding hardwood forests. Visitors may find wild turkeys, pileated woodpeckers, barred owls, red-shouldered hawks, otters, and deer. Canoes and paddle boats are available, and there is a launch site for private canoes.While the Hillsborough River State Park Trail is a 3.2 mile loop, you can use the River Rapids Nature Trail and the Baynard Trail as connectors to walk 6 miles through the forests along the river. The Hillsborough River State Park Trail connects to the Baynard Trail along a short-blue blaze found just north of the river across the swinging bridge, clockwise on the Baynard Trail for 100 yards. Look for the “FT” traihead sign on the left.
Forests of sweetgum, hickory, cabbage palms, and ancient live oaks shade this beautiful loop, which winds its way along the river and around cypress-lined floodplains. A primitive campsite is tucked away at the end of a blue blazed side trail on the north side of the loop.