Fast facts

The Hillsborough River Canoe Trail

Published February 23, 2007

The river begins in the southwest corner of the Green Swamp as an overflow from the Withlacoochee River and flows 54 miles through Pasco and Hillsborough counties to Tampa Bay. About 34 miles of the river, beginning at Crystal Springs in Pasco County, is considered part of the State Canoe Trail System.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Current: Slow (0.5-1.5 mph)

Precautions: The "rapids" above the state park should be avoided. The Hillsborough has its share of big alligators and water moccasins. The stretch of river south of the state park called "Seventeen Runs" should only be attempted by experienced paddlers; novices may get lost.

Outfitter: Canoe Escape, 9335 E. Fowler Ave., Thonotosassa, (813) 986-2067 or www.canoeescape.com.

More: To see more photos and hear some Florida folk music, go to links.tampabay.com.