July 7, 2010

Hiking In Hillsborough River State Park

Crossing A Suspension Bridge in Hillsborough River State Park

Crossing A Suspension Bridge in Hillsborough River State Park

One of the best adventures I’ve had here in Florida happens to be hiking through the Hillsborough River State Park. The park is one of the oldest parks in the state of Florida and features hiking, canoeing, camping, and kayaking. Best of all, it’s located less than an hour outside of Tampa.

When it comes to hiking, the park has four different trails that you can choose from with a total of around 7 miles of trails. We opted to hike each of the trails and managed to complete the trip in around 3 hours. There are a few primitive camping spots which would make for a great backpacking trip. They also have a regular campground for those who can’t do without electricity.

When hiking through the park, many of the trails follow the the Hillsborough River which is an awesome thing to see. There are a few rapids in the river as well as a couple suspension bridges that pass over it. We saw a few alligator signs along the way but didn’t happen to bump into any of them.

Instead, one of the only things we saw on the hike was an abundance of these:

Florida Garden Spider

A Florida Garden Spider Up Close

These spiders were literally everywhere and we constantly had to stop and duck below the webs that were crossing the trail. Some of the spiders were gigantic! Unfortunately, we had no idea if they were venomous or not until after we got home so we approached them with caution. Once we got home, we were able to find out they are harmless.

If you’re terrified of spiders, you might want to hold off on this hike.

Pictures From the Hike

Here’s a few of my best shots from the hike through Hillsborough River State Park:

Florida Spider

A Black and White Shot of a Florida Spider

Hillsborough River Rapids

A Few Rapids in the Hillsborough River

Standing Next to A Huge Tree Covered in Moss

"Take Nothing But Pictures, Leave Nothing But Footprints"

Take Nothing But Pictures, Leave Nothing But Footprints


A Look Downstream

A Cool Florida Butterfly

Tropical Hiking

Hiking Through Palm Trees

A Few of the River

A Sun Beam Shining Through the Trees

I highly recommend checking out the Hillsborough River State Park, especially if you live near the Tampa area. It’s a great place to go on a weekday since we were one of the only groups of hikers out there. For more information on the hike, you can check out the official website.

See more photos in the Hillsborough River State Park photo gallery.

11 thoughts on “Hiking In Hillsborough River State Park

  1. Jim Gaudet

    Hola Justin,

    I guess I have been gone for a while. Your site has changed. You are visiting so many state parks you changed your color scheme to look like the signs on the highway 🙂 Looks great, by the way.

    We have those spiders here in CR too, best to keep the webs in tact as they take care of the flies.


    1. Justin Wright Post author

      Hey Jim, how’s it going? Glad you like the design, I decided it was time to add some brighter colors to my look. As for the spiders, we tried our best to keep them all in tact. We had to knock a few down that crossed the trail and I bumped into one only to see it start vibrating in a very odd looking fashion…crazy.

  2. Pingback: Old Fort King Trail Hike

  3. Holidays

    What a view! I also do some stuffs that you do with my friends and family. It’s good to know that many people like you are spending their time in places like these. If you plan to get relaxed and visit places in England, I recommend you stay in Torquay r to have a different experience.

  4. Eric | Eden Journal

    Welcome to Florida. I see that are finding some great places to explore since moving here. I live in Orlando, and do most of my nature exploring from the comfort of a Jeep, rather than on foot. There are a lot of wonderful parks all over Florida, and I’m enjoying reading about some of the places I haven’t visited yet.


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