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USA Parks
Florida
Central West Region
Hillsborough River State Park
HILLSBOROUGH RIVER STATE PARK
HILLSBOROUGH RIVER STATE PARK
15402 U.S. 301
North Thonotosassa, Florida   33592

Phone: 813-987-6771
Reservations: 813-987-6771
Hillsborough River State Park

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Hillsborough River State Park

website

Hillsborough River State Park

website

Hillsborough River State Park

website

Hillsborough River State Park

website

Hillsborough River State Park

website

Hillsborough River State Park
'The Victor'
© Perspective Images http//perspectives.shutterbugstorefront.com

A Florida Alligator taking a well earned rest on a fallen log.

Hillsborough River State Park
© Daniel Ewert c 2008

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Hillsborough River State Park
© Photos Copyright Bobbie Alexander

Hillsborough River State Park
© Photos Copyright Bobbie Alexander

Hillsborough River State Park
© Photos Copyright Bobbie Alexander

Hillsborough River State Park

Hillsborough River State Park
'Aligator'
© The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Biswamber Pal. The use of any images in whole or in part, for any purpose other than the private purpose of viewing them online, including, but not limited to, copying, reproduction, publication including on Internet Web Site including third party web pages by any means, including hotlinking, storage in a retrieval system other than internet browser, manipulation digital or otherwise, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of Biswamber Pal 732.822.7856.

Full grown aligator. It was evening when this shot was taken. It was basking under the setting sun, i had to crawl a lot to take this shot.

Hillsborough River State Park
'Great Blue Heron'
© The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Biswamber Pal. The use of any images in whole or in part, for any purpose other than the private purpose of viewing them online, including, but not limited to, copying, reproduction, publication including on Internet Web Site including third party web pages by any means, including hotlinking, storage in a retrieval system other than internet browser, manipulation digital or otherwise, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of Biswamber Pal 732.822.7856.

The Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North and Central America as well as the West Indies and the Galpagos Islands. It is a rare vagrant to Europe, with records from Spain, the Azores and England. An all-white population found only in the Caribbean and south Florida was once known as a separate species, the Great White Heron. This shot was taken at morning hours.

Opened in 1938 as one of Florida?s first state parks, this park is divided by the swiftly flowing Hillsborough River. Fort Foster, a replica of an 1837 fort from the Second Seminole War, is located on the park grounds, adjacent to the river. Fort tours are offered on weekends or with a reservation. The river provides opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; a canoe/kayak launch is available on the river. Canoes can be rented at the park?s concession, which also provides food, beverages, picnic supplies, and souvenirs. Hikers can walk over seven miles along four nature trails. The Wetlands Restoration Trail accommodates bicyclists and hikers. When the weather calls for it, visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim in the park?s ADA accessible swimming pool. The park offers full-facility camping and a youth/group tent campground. A primitive campsite is available via foot trail; reservations are recommended. Located 12 miles north of Tampa and six miles south of Zephyrhills on U.S. 301.
Nature of the Area
A variety of habitats in Hillsborough River State Park including pine flatwoods, floodplain swamp, hardwood hammock, cypress swamp, and grass pond allow for diverse plant and animal communities to be observed by our visitors. Whether on a trail or picnicking by the man-made swimming hole, bring your binoculars to get a good look at the wildlife. Additional information about identified animals seen in Hillsborough River State Park can be found in the Ranger Station.
History of the Area
Hillsborough River State Park is significant in the twentieth century history of Florida as one of 9 elements of the New Deal-inspired Florida state park system and as one of the physical expressions of early-twentieth century recreation planning. In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was the first New Deal agency to begin operations in Florida. From 1933 to 1942 the CCC and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs constructed an impressive collection of facilities throughout Florida.

A considerable portion of the public recreation facilities created by these programs is preserved in the state park system's New Deal era parks: Florida Caverns State Park, Torreya State Park, Fort Clinch State Park, O'Leno State Park, Gold Head Branch State Park, Ravine State Gardens, Hillsborough River State Park, Highlands Hammock State Park and Myakka River State Park.

Land acquisition for Hillsborough River State Park began in 1934, and the park officially became part of the Florida state park system in 1935. The CCC began work at Hillsborough River State Park in 1934, when Company 1418 was transferred from Sebring to the small community of Sulphur Springs, northeast of Tampa. CCC Camp SP-71 served primarily as a forestry unit, erecting fire towers, planting seedlings and constructing fire lanes throughout Hillsborough County.

In 1934, a detachment of 60 CCC enrollees were sent from the camp to develop Hillsborough River State Park, under the supervision of the National Park Service. The state park was largely complete by July, 1938, when Camp SP-71 at Sulphur Springs was evacuated. The caretaker's cottage, support buildings and the suspension bridge at Hillsborough River State Park were constructed between 1934 and 1936. Most of the park's recreational facilities (including 5 overnight cabins that were subsequently removed) were constructed between 1935 and 1938. Additional wood frame and native stone residences were constructed by park personnel, and several picnic shelters and a boat house were constructed between 1939 and 1941 from NPS plans, probably by the Florida Park Service or its contractors.

The park consists of 1,040 upland acres, and 2,343 wetland/submerged acres for a total of 3,383 acres. Acquisition began in June, 1934.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseFishingyes
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bike Trailsyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
CampingWater/Electric Sitesyes
WinterActivitiesyes
Camping
Full Facility Camping

RV and Tent camping is available with electric on most of the campsites in our 108 site campground. Each site is equipped with water, a fire ring and picnic table. The Campground offers a dump station for your convenience since sewer hookups are not available on each campsite at this time. Pets are allowed with restrictions. Shopping is available at the park's Outpost concession with basic food items and merchandise. Exhibits are located throughout the park. Swimming is available in ? acre man-made swimming area. The park offers many planned activities year-round. For more information on camping in our park simply click on the Reserve America link. Clicking on the park map or selecting one of the camping area links just below the park map will allow you to see a map of the individual campsite locations. Select any campsite icon to see a detailed description of the individual campsite and what it has to offer.

Primitive Camping

A primitive camp, located across the river is available via foot trail and reservations are recommended.

Youth Camping

The youth camping area can handle groups up to 60 people at one time.
Accommodation Availability Calendars
Swimming
The park offers seasonal swimming in an ADA accessible man-made swimming pool. Pool fees are per day per person for peoples ages 6 and up, children 5 years and younger are free, fees are paid at pool entrance. See Ranger Station for seasonal availability dates.
Canoeing
Canoeing is a popular activity in the park. Visitors may bring their own canoe or rent one at the park. Florida Sports Paddling Club a local paddling club, enjoys the park's river access and makes regular use of it, contact them for more information about club activities at Hillsborough River State Park. (Seasonal) Canoe Tour and Canoe Rentals
Boating
Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing is a popular activity in the park. Visitors may bring their own canoe or rent one at the park. Florida Sports Paddling Club a local paddling club, enjoys the park's river access and makes regular use of it, contact them for more information about club activities at Hillsborough River State Park.


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Nearby Parks


Picnicking
Visitors can picnic under one of the pavilions built by the CCC in the 1930s or at one of the other open picnic benches available throughout the park. Seven pavilions are available to rent. Call the Ranger's Station for more information and availability at 813-987-6771. A fact sheet is provided for your information. For larger groups the Recreation Hall is available to rent.
Nature Programs
Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and the former contact station the Interpretive Center has exhibits and artifacts describing the Seminole Indian Wars. The Interpretive Center is open everyday from 8am to 5pm for visitors to browse through.
Things To Do in the Area
Red Fox Stables - Lithia, FLHorseback Riding
Riding Trails are located in the Alafia River Corridor Preserve directly behind the horse stables. Your trail ride will include a demonstration, followed by a one hour trail ride. Longer trail rides are available upon request.
Web Site: redfoxstables.com
22.4 miles from park*
Flatwater Adventure Tours - Brooksville, FLFishing Charters
Flatwater Guide has two astonishing adventures to choose from. Bass Fishing and a Nature/Scenic tour. Fish for Largemouth Bass in remote areas of the Withlacoochee River, where it's not uncommon to fish all day and not see another living soul. You could also choose a lazy canoe tour up and down the pristine Weeki Wachee Springs canoe trail where you can see tons of different fish, wildlife and see the amazing Manatees in their natural habitat.
Web Site: flatwaterguide.com/Home_Page.html
30.6 miles from park*
Riverscape Boat Tours LLC - Ocala, FLBoating
Ride silently on nature tours on the silver river. The most beautiful river in the world. We transport guests back in time to wild Florida as it was thousands of years ago - untouched and untamed. Sparkling clear water that has over a hundred feet visibility. Book the Silver River trip now as the boats fill fast.
Web Site: riverscapesboattours.com
75.3 miles from park*
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
March 3 Awesome place to visit!!! by terjam1220
October 6 Excellent place to see
I love the hikes here, and the view of the river is just fantastic.
September 18 one of floridas finest parks by the citrus lens
this is one of floridas finest state parks, i was able to take some of my best photos to date here.
October 12 Great canoeing
Awesome place to go canoeing! Lots of wild life like alligator and blue heron. We really enjoyed ourselves on the rive. Highly recommended!
August 16 Great Place for Families by The Dills and a Giacobbe
I large variety of inexpensive family entertainment amongst a group of nice people.
December 26 INCREDIBLE by EL MONGO101
I LIKE THIS PARTICULAR PLACE BECAUSE OF NATURE ITSELF ,MOST OF THE PARK IS INTACT OF NEW ADVANCES SO IT REMINDED ME HOW THINS USED TO BE ,OLD SCHOOL
October 19 The BEST by Max
I recently spent three nights at the Park with my companion. This was my third trip there and I enjoy it more with each trip. And I will return. The camp sites are immaculate.
May 22 Peaceful, Quiet, and very clean!!!
My Family and I enjoyed a beautiful sunny day at the picnic tables near the pool. It was wonderful! We brought lots of food and had a cook out. The children played at the pool all day, and later in the evening we walked the trails enjoying the scenery. Its lots of fun and a great place to hang out with family and friends.


Area Campgrounds

The Woods
2001 Brinson Road #307
Lutz, FL
813-446-6312


RallyPark
6210 County Road 579
Seffner, FL
813-246-4777


Glen Haven Carefree RV Resort
37251 Chancey Road
Zephyrhills, FL
813-782-1856


Majestic Oaks Carefree RV Resort
3751 Laurel Valley Boulevard
Zephyrhills, FL
813-783-7518


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Wynnhaven Riverside RV Park - Bushnell, FLCampgrounds
Wynnhaven Riverside is located on County Road 48 in the small town of Bushnell, Florida. Whether you are visiting Florida and want sun or prefer to camp in the shade of Florida's grand oak trees, we have units available for both.
Web Site: wynnhavenriverside.com
42.7 miles from park*
Pets
Pets are welcome in all outdoor areas of the park. Visitors should remember to clean up after their pets and keep pets on a 6 foot hand-held leash at all times. Service animals are welcome in all visitor use areas in the park. Please contact the Ranger Station for specific pet restrictions or inquiries.

Pet Camping

Pet camping is available at Hillsborough River State Park. Pets must be confined, leashed (not to exceed six feet in length) or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times. Tethered pets must not be left unattended for more than 30 minutes. Quiet hours must be observed from 11:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. Pet owners must pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet droppings in trash receptacles. Florida law requires that pets be vaccinated against rabies. Any pet that is noisy, dangerous, intimidating or destructive will not be allowed to remain in the park. Non-furbearing pets, such as reptiles, birds, or fish must be confined or under the physical control of the owner. Some animals may be prohibited on park property. Failure to abide by these rules may result in the camper being asked to board the pet outside the park or to leave the campground.
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Directions
Hillsborough River State Park is located 9 miles north of Tampa and 6 miles south of Zephyrhills on US Highway 301.

From I-75, Southbound from Ocala take the SR 54. Exit #279 east to Hwy 301, travel South for 6 miles, and the park will be on your right-hand side.

From I-75, Northbound from Tampa take the Fowler Ave. Exit #265 east to Hwy 301, travel North for 9 miles, and the park will be on your left-hand side.

From I-4, West bound take Exit 10 go north on CR 579 to US 301, follow the signs and go North 7 miles the park will be on your left-hand side.

From I-4, East bound take Exit 7 (be careful of the merges) and go North on US 301 for 14 miles, the park will be on your left-hand side.

USA Parks
Florida
Central West Region
Hillsborough River State Park
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