Tucked away from the rush of the modern-day world, Hillsborough River State park was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and offers all of the facilities you could want when looking for a place to spend the day or a camping weekend.
Hillsborough River State Park offers well-maintained hiking trails good for beginners and those hiking with kids and pets. The main trail will take you alongside the river where you can see alligators as well as other wildlife. If bicycling is your thing you’ll be glad to know that several trails are open to cyclists, and you can even rent multi-person bikes. Canoes and kayaks are available for rental to get an up-close and personal view of the wildlife.
Highlights for children: Children will enjoy the wide open play spaces at Hillsborough River State Park as well as the playgrounds. While adults under the age of 65 do need to purchase a fishing license (http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/do-i-need-a-license/), fishing is free for kids under 16.
Are you familiar with geocaching? It’s a fun activity for the whole family and can be quite challenging. The goal is to search for specific points, and which there will be a small treasure to find. Geocaching is a popular activity at the park, and all you need to get started is a handheld GPS system (or a smart phone if you’re new to geocaching) and a list of geocaches. You can view and print a list of geocaches at the park and read up on geocaching etiquette at www.Geocaching.com.
Highlights for adults:
Hillsborough River State Park features a public pool and at just a few dollars per person it makes for a great cool down on a hot day.
Tips for your visit:
Hillsborough River State Park offers 100 camping spots, 92 of which can accommodate an RV.
Make it Brainy:
Guided tram tours of Fort Foster, the only standing reconstructed fort from the Second Seminole War, are offered to the public every Saturday and Sunday, as well as on Fridays to campers. Tours fill up fast so plan to arrive with plenty of time to spare. If you happen to be visiting in February or December you might happen across two very special events, the Fort Foster Rendezvous and the Christmas Candlelight Evening Tour.
Hillsborough River State Park was one of 9 parks constructed in Florida in the 1930s as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was a work program started under President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, a set of federal programs launched in 1933. The CCC was created to offer jobs to young unemployed, unmarried men in the midst of the Great Depression while developing public lands for use. Throughout Hillsborough River State Park you’ll find markers dedicated to the workers and commemorating the CCC and President Roosevelt, see how many you can find.
Street address: 15402 U.S. 301 North, Thonotosassa, Florida 33592
Phone number: (813) 987-6771
General admission price: $
Meg Grooms lives in beautiful Central Florida within view of the evening fireworks. She lives with her husband, their 6 kids, a dog, a cat, and a fish named Lucky Steve. Meg is a long-time homeschooler, community volunteer, self-confessed lover-of-all-the-food, Disney addict, frugalista, and when she has time she blogs about all of it. In addition to The Brainy Tourist you can find Meg at This Big Happy and Homeschool Gameschool.