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Hillsborough River State Park

 Activities at Hillsborough River State Park

Bicycling

Bicycling

Bicyclists are invited to ride on the 1.6 mile Wetlands Restoration Nature Trail as well as the 2.2 mile Park Loop and through the campgrounds. All visitors are encouraged to wear helmets for their safety and by law all children under 16 are required to wear helmets when riding bicycles on the road. 

Bike Rentals:

The Ride of Your Life - THE SURREY, reminiscent of early automobiles at the beginning of the 20th century. These four wheel Surrey bikes provided families and other sightseers with the ability to leisurely enjoy your state park. Our entire fleet is designed for fun. We offer a fleet of vehicles so cool; you'll want to stay all day. Try a Surrey with a fringe on top or one of our regular bicycles.

- Regular bikes $10.00  an hour-1/2 day rental $20.00 plus tax—all day $25.00 plus tax.

- 2 person Surreys $ 20.00 plus tax an hour.

- 4 person Surreys $30.00 plus tax an hour.
 

Bike Rentals

Participation Requirements

Campfire Circles

Campfire Circles

A gathering place for Saturday evening campfire programs presented by park staff, contact Ranger Station for next scheduled program topic and meeting time. Camp Fire Programs

Participation Requirements

Camping, Full Facility

Camping, Full Facility

Hillsborough River offers RV and tent camping with electric on most of the campsites in this 112 site campground. Each site is equipped with water, a fire ring and picnic table. Each loop has restrooms with hot showers and laundry facilities. The campground offers a dump station for your convenience. Shopping is available at the park's Outpost concession with basic food items and merchandise. Pets are welcome, but must be confined, leashed (up to six feet in length) or otherwise under the physical control at all times.

Picnic areas, pavilions, several playgrounds, the Spirit of the Woods Pool Side Café and Gift Shop and an ADA-accessible half-acre swimming pool are located within the park. Many trails offer visitors the opportunity to experience the park's natural beauty. A popular trail is the Rapids Nature Trail. It meanders through oak hammocks to the edge of the Hillsborough River at the point where an outcropping of limestone rocks has created rapids. This area is a popular spot for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers canoe rentals for visitor's convenience.

Maximum RV length = 50 ft.

Hammocks are allowed to be used in certain campsites. Sites 61, 110, and 111 allow one (1) hammock each while sites 68 and 70 allow two (2) hammocks each. Set-up requires the use of straps at least 2 inches wide on trees at least 12 inches in diameter.

Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.

Camping, Primitive

Camping, Primitive

A primitive camp, located across the river is available via foot trail. Backpackers must check in and out at the ranger station. At least one person 18 years of age or older must accompany the party. Campers should pack in all necessities, including four quarts of water per person, and pack out all garbage. The site contains one fire ring. A map of hiking trails and the primitive campsite is available at the park office. Call the park at (813) 987-6771 to make reservations.

Hammocks are allowed to be used in the primitive camping area in sites C and D (2 hammocks each).

Camping, Youth

Camping, Youth

The youth camping area accommodates up to 60 people at one time. Fees are Youth: (up to 18 years of age) $1 per person, per night. Adult: $5 per person, per night. Four camping areas are set in pine flatwoods, offering shade as well as beauty. All four sites are shaded and have water, picnic tables, grills, a fire ring and restrooms with cold showers. Organizations must be under the sponsorship of a recognized entity for a particular outing. Adult supervision is required. Pets are not allowed in this ecologically sensitive area. There is no electricity. A hiking trail map is available at the park office. Reservations can be made for youth groups up to 60 days in advance. Adult groups may use this camp when it is not being used by a youth group. Call the park at (813) 987-6771 to make reservations. A $22.40 deposit is required for all reservations and will be applied to the final balance.

Hammocks are allowed to be used in the Youth Camp area. Site C allows one (1) hammock and sites A, B, and D allow two (2) hammocks each.

PLEASE NOTE: No deposit refunds will be given within 14 days of reservation.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing is a popular activity in the park. Visitors may bring their own canoe or rent one at the park.  (Canoe rentals - minimum of two hours for $25.00 per canoe, plus tax; three hours for $35.00, plus tax; four hours $40.00, plus tax; or all day $50.00, plus tax.).  (Kayaks $15.00 an hour, plus tax.)

Hours for Canoes are as follows... Unless business dictates different.

 

  • 9am - 5pm daily. Weather and river conditions permitting. 

 

Please note: All rentals are to be back by 5pm.

 

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) Guided Canor Tour    and Canoe Rentals

Participation Requirements

Concession & Restaurant

Concession & Restaurant

Canoes & bicycles are available for rent at the Pool Side Cafe which also provides food, beverages, picnic/camping supplies and souvenirs.

Our concession also provides high-quality custom umbrellas and pool lounge chairs for rent. Rental prices for One Umbrella and Two Lounge chairs: $5.00 an hour or $20.00 a day (Day ends at 5:00 pm).  You are also permitted to bring in your own towels, chairs, and umbrellas as we have limited numbers to rent out.  Keep in mind on busy days visitors may want to bring in their own chairs.

Park visitors will be able to stay connected with FREE Wi-Fi service as they enjoy everything this state park, big and small, has to offer. This service enables park visitors with wireless enabled laptop computers or personal digital assistants (PDAs) to access the Internet. You can access this service if you are within a 150 foot range of the pool side café located at parking lot #4 (Weather and signal permitting).

Golf Carts are available daily.

Participants must be 18 years or older and hold a valid driver's License. A Credit Card deposit is required.

Rental prices:

4 Person Golf Cart: $35.00 for two hours/$50.00 for four hours/$75.00 per day

6 Person Golf Cart: $45.00 for two hours/$60.00 for four hours/$90.00 per day

Concession hours of operation: * (Monday - Sunday 9am till 5pm) * (Holidays are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days).  All hours are subject to change, weather permitting.

Hillsborough Park Pool Side Café
Phone 813-986-3322
Contact: Shane Bittaker

Participation Requirements

Fishing

Fishing

Park visitors can fish in the Hillsborough River for bass, bream and catfish. A fishing license may be required.

Geo-Seeking

Geo-Seeking

The Florida State Parks Civilian Conservation Corps Geotrail is now at www.Geocaching.com. Nine parks were built by the CCC and Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Search for all nine caches and end at the CCC Museum at Highlands Hammock State Park and receive a commemorative geocoin. GC codes: GC38Y93 Fort Clinch State Park
GC3BG4G Florida Caverns State Park
GC3D02X Highlands Hammock State Park
GC3BG4A Hillsborough River State Park
GC3ABB5 Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
GC3BG4N Myakka River State Park
GC3ABBC OLeno State Park
GC38Y8V Ravine Gardens State Park
GC3BG4E Torreya State Park
GC38Y9F Florida State Parks FINAL CCC Cache  located in Highlands Hammock State Park.

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

Visitors have four trails to choose from and 7. 3 total miles to hike. The Florida National Scenic Trail runs through the park and is maintained by Florida Trail Association volunteers . Biking is available on the Wetlands Restoration Trail exclusively. A trail map is available at the Ranger's Station. SAFETY NOTICE: Park Closes At Sundown-Please allow ample time to leave trails by sundown.

(ATTENTION: Due to increased rains in spring and summer, the park experiences seasonal flooding throughout the park. Some 25 percent of Hillsborough River State Park is in lowland areas and these areas are prone to seasonal flooding. These floods are extremely unpredictable and may affect your hiking experience. Please call the park office at (813) 987-6771 for the specific conditions of our trails prior to your visit.)

Participation Requirements

Interpretive Exhibit

Interpretive Exhibit

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.

Meetings & Retreats

Meetings & Retreats

Visitors can picnic under one of the pavilions built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s or at one of the other open picnic benches available throughout the park. Seven pavilions are available to rent for $50 or $80. Rental fact sheets are available on the park website. For larger groups the Recreation Hall is available to rent. The Recreation Hall is an air-conditioned facility with a capacity for 100 people. Call the park at (813) 987-6771 for more information.

Pets

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.

Picnicking

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. Consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited. Call the Ranger’s Station for more information and availability at (813) 987-6771. A fact sheet is provided for your information.

Playground

Playground

For added enjoyment, the park has two children's playgrounds. One is conveniently located in the river picnic area and the other in the pool picnic area.

Restroom Facilities

Restroom Facilities

ADA accessible restroom facilities are located in the park.

Showers, Day Visitors

Showers, Day Visitors

Showers are located in the campground and available for campers.

Swimming

Swimming

This Family Swimming Pool offers something for everyone, including grassy areas to relax and catch some sun! Our swimming area with park concession is an ADA-accessible, ½ acre swimming pool. Fees to swim are $4.00 per day, per person for people ages 6 and up, children ages 5 and under are free. Swimming pool hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  

Hillsborough River State Park swimming pool will remain open for the public's use and enjoyment throughout the year, weather permitting. Please call the state park office for the most up to date swimming pool information (813) 987-6771. Please note: No lifeguards on duty past Labor Day weekend.
 

Participation Requirements

Tours

Tours

Tram tours are one hour in length and travel into one of the oldest state parks in Florida. Tours are 1 tram on Friday evenings at 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm. A Ranger will pick you up at your campsite. The tour will take about one hour and will return to the campground. Look for the tram and wave! Weather permitting. . Please note: Due to limited seating on the park tram we can not assure that all visitors will be able to enjoy this park tour.

Fort Foster Tours

Fort Foster is the only standing replica of a Second Seminole War Fort in the United States. Guided Tours of Fort Foster are offered; weather permitting, Saturdays at 2 pm & 4 pm and Sundays at 11 am. Your step back in time will begin at the park's concession located in parking lot #4. From there a tram will transport you to Fort Foster where you will see the only authentically reconstructed fort from the era of the Second Seminole Indian War (1830s). Allow approximately one-and-a-half hours for the tour.  Please note: Due to limited seating on the park tram we can not assure that all visitors will be able to enjoy this Fort Tour.

NO PETS. Call (813) 987-6771 for more details. Fort Tour and Tram Tours

Participation Requirements

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

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.