Get out in nature and explore one a Florida State Park in Hillsborough County. State parks are the perfect outing for families for a nature walk, canoeing, camping, sight seeing or even hiking. Explore one of these parks in Hillsborough County.
1. Hillsborough River State Park
Visitors to Hillsborough River State Park can enjoy Class II rapids, abundant fishing, and wildlife viewing. There are 4 hiking trails totaling 7.3 miles. The Wetlands Restoration Trail accommodates both hikers and bicyclists. The park contains 9 geo-caching sites as part of Operation Recreation GeoTour.
Rentals of canoes, kayaks, surreys, bikes, and golf carts are available. There are two playgrounds and Saturday evening campfire programs. On site is an ADA-accessible swimming pool. The Pool Side Cafe offers food, beverages, free Wi-Fi, picnic and camping supplies, and souvenirs.
Camping facilities boast a 112-site campground, each equipped with water, a fire ring, picnic table, and some with electricity. Nearby are hot showers and laundry facilities. Hammocks and RVs are welcome. Four primitive camping sites are located 1.5 miles across the river and can be reserved for large groups up to 60.
Hillsborough River State Park
15402 N US Highway 301
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
2. Fort Foster State Historic Site
Fort Foster is a reproduction of a fort built in 1836 by Col. William S. Foster during the Second Seminole War. This park offers living history demonstrations by park staff and re-enactors.
Annual living history events include the Fort Foster Rendezvous in February and the Candlelight Experience at Fort Foster in December. This historic site is located within the Hillsborough River State Park and can be easily combined with activities offered nearby.
Family-Friendly Tips: Fort Foster is not open for visitation on a daily basis and does not have regular operating hours.
Tour Times: Saturdays, at 2pm, and 4pm; Sundays, at 11am
Fort Foster State Historic Site
15402 N US Highway 301
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
3. Little Manatee River State Park
Little Manatee River State Park contains rare ecosystems and the river itself has been designated an Outstanding Florida Water. Visitors note the excellent ecological management, reasonable entrance fee, and clean facilities. The park boasts a 6.5 mile hiking loop known as one of the premier trails in Southwest Florida and 15 miles of equestrian and multi-use trails. Riverside pavilions are available for picnicking. A primitive amphitheater offers park programs and can be used for group meetings or programs.
Camping facilities include 30 sites for tents or RVs, each with a picnic table, fire ring, water, and electrical pedestal. Nearby is a bathhouse and laundry room. 3 sites are wheelchair accessible with direct access to the bathhouse. The equestrian campground features 4 sites with amenities and the use of two horse stalls in the nearby stable. 2.5 miles down the Florida Hiking Trails is a primitive campsite equipped with picnic table and fire ring.
Little Manatee River State Park
215 Lightfoot Rd
Wimauma, FL 33598
4. Ybor City Museum State Park
This urban park includes the museum, a restored cigar-workers house La Cassita, gift shop, and ornamental garden which can be rented for events.
Ybor City Museum is housed in the historic Ferlita Bakery and provides a detailed glimpse into the culture of the cigar making industry. Tours begin with a video about the history of Ybor City; the cigar-making industry, the lives of immigrants, and ties to Cuba.
A self-guided walk through the museum with rotating exhibits is available with either written or audio information. Guided tours through a restored home with a park ranger rounds out the experience.
Ybor City Museum State Park
1818 E 9th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
5. Alafia River State Park
This 6,260 acre park is well-known for its 17 miles of well-maintained off-road bike trails ranging from beginner to advanced levels and 20 miles of hiking and equestrian trails. 12 Operation Recreation GeoTour geo-caching sites can be found in the park. Fishing, canoeing, birding and nature hikes allow one to see all types of fauna including gators, snakes, and dragonflies.
The park offers a full-facility campground with 30 campsites and 12 equestrian-friendly campsites. A 1-mile hike leads to the primitive camping sites, available for groups of 8+ and room for 10 tents. Pavilions can be rented with or without electricity for group events. The park also features a fire ring, playground, horseshoe pit, volleyball court, and amphitheater.
Alafia River State Park
14326 S County Rd 39
Lithia, FL 33547
Check out our Community Event Calendar for daily events.