Lettuce Lake Park is a lush 240-acre preserve on the Hillsborough River. The recreation area got its name from a body of water that is covered with a plant called water lettuce.
Although it's named after water lettuce, that's not the only plant you'll see while walking the 3,500-foot boardwalk through a cypress swamp. Look for live oak, swamp lilies, sabal palm and Spanish moss and a variety of wildlife.
Bring lunch and eat in the picnic areas on the boardwalk, then stroll down to the observation tower. The multilevel tower provides a sweeping view of the river and hardwood swamp.
The boardwalk is labeled with numbers, and written guide materials are available at the Audubon Resource Center. Other informational material about the park and its wildlife is also available at the center.
Pick up keepsakes of your visit in the gift shop in the resource center.
Trip tip: Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring bug repellent.
Lettuce Lake Park
WHERE: 6920 E Fletcher Ave., Tampa, 987-6204.
WHEN: The park is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The office closes at 3 p.m.; the boardwalk and gate close at 7:30 p.m. The Audubon Resource Center is open from noon to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.