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Hillsborough River State Park

By TERRY TOMALIN, Times Outdoors Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2000


photo
[Times art: Earl Towery]

Paddling a canoe along the upper Hillsborough, it is hard to believe this is the same river that flows through downtown Tampa.

The Hillsborough, which begins in the Green Swamp and twists and turns for about 55 miles before emptying into the northern end of Hillsborough Bay, has about everything the state has to offer, including cypress swamps and live oak hammocks.

One of the most scenic stretches is the segment that flows through Hillsborough River State Park.

If you get an early start, you may spot otters playing in the crystal-clear water, or alligators and bass moving along the sandy bottom. Look up and you may see an osprey or hawk watching you from the cypress trees that line this lazy river.

Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Tampa, Hillsborough River State Park is on U.S. 301 in Thonotosassa. The park also offers overnight camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, boating, nature study and bicycling.

Call (813) 987-6771.

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