exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures
Best Florida State Parks,  Florida Fun Outdoor Activities

Exploring Hillsborough River State Park

Hands down, it’s one of the best state parks in Florida – at least in our book, that is! Exploring Hillsborough River State Park is magical, different, and leaves you thirsty for more.

Located near Zephyrhills in Hillsborough County, it’s home to Fort Foster Historic Site and it’s one of the best parks for an incredibly unique hiking experience. Furthermore, it’s the only place where you’ll find Florida’s only Class II Rapids. And I didn’t even know we had those!

Quite honestly, of all the state parks we’ve been to, we can’t quite compare Hillsborough to any other Florida State Park.

hillsborough river state park next stop adventures

Exploring Hillsborough River State Park

Arriving here was the easy part. Not wanting to leave… well, that was a whole different story!

The only thing we really didn’t like about this park was the map. And this was mainly because of me. Unfortunately, I’m really bad at reading maps and this one is not as easy to understand as other park maps. At least for me, that is.

exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures

exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures
The iconic Hillsborough River Bridge
exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures
Florida’s only Class II Rapids.

For us, doing just one trip for exploring Hillsborough is definitely not enough. Regardless, we made the most of this trip and we enjoyed it to the max!

Arriving early is a must since it’s a big park with plenty to see. We hiked around the park and explored a couple of different areas like the Flatwoods Pond and went inside the Interpretive Center. Walked the wooden bridge and then headed to the Nature Trail (1.2 miles) that leads the way to the rapids.

Then, we hiked the Baynard Trail (1.1 miles) and finished exploring around the Poolside Café. And of course, we took lots of pictures! Because, why not?

exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures

exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures

exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures

Hillsborough River State Park has four trails to choose from for a total of approximately 7 miles of hiking!

Therefore, we have plenty of more reasons to go back! Keep in mind that a big part of this park is located in lowland areas that are prone to flooding during Spring and Summer.

Be sure to plan your hiking trip accordingly and call the park for any updates before exploring Hillsborough.

Hiking Trails in Hillsborough River State Park

Baynard Trail – 1.1 miles

River Rapids Nature Trail – 1.2 miles

Wetlands Restoration Nature Trail – 1.6 miles

Florida Trail – 3.4 miles

Activities that you can enjoy in this park include camping, backpacking, paddling, Geocaching, and swimming.

Visiting this park is a very unique experience for all nature and hiking lovers. Words really can’t describe how beautiful this place is!

exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures

Fort Foster Historic Site

This Fort is a reproduction of the original that was built in the same grounds in 1836. It was later on set on fire by a small group of Seminoles.

We haven’t yet been able to make it to Fort Foster, but we plan to. But if you travel to Hillsborough, don’t leave without visiting the Interpretive Center!

Tours to Fort Foster only take place on a weekly basis, every Thursday at 10:30 am.

exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures
The Interpretive Center is super nice!

exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures

exploring hillsborough river state park next stop adventures

Plan your visit

Hours: Open daily from 8 am until sundown.

Fees: $6 per vehicle. Fort Foster Tours are $2 per person.

Directions to Hillsborough River State Park

Location: 15402 US 301 N., Thonotosassa FL 33592

Get Directions

 

What do you think of this beautiful park? Would you go? If you’ve already been, what do you love the most about it? Comment below! 

 

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Hillsborough River State Park

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Hi there! I'm Yanitza Ninett. I'm the mom, the wife, the stepmom, and creator of Next Stop Adventures. This is a blog about our adventures and travels, as a blended family of six! I love nature, sunny days, and I love to travel and capture life with my lens.

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