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Hillsborough River State Park


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Enter Into History
Hillsborough River State Park Entrance
© Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com
Located along the Hillsborough River, the Hillsborough River State Park includes 2,990 acres of river swamps, as well as plants and trees native to Florida. While the park is one of Florida's original state parks (built in 1936 by the Civilian Conseration Corp), the area that it encompasses is steeped in the history of the Seminoles and Seminole Wars.

The Hillsborough River State Park provides multiple opportunities for outdoor recreation — both water- and land-based. Although you need a Florida freshwater fishing license, freshwater fishing for bass, bream and catfish is a popular pastime. Canoe or kayak in the river or swim in the large pool. There are five trails in the park — River Rapids Trail, Baynard Trail, Florida Trail,Wetlands Restoration Trail and the Fort King Trail — where visitors can hike or bike. Picnic under pavilions or large groups can even rent enclosed pavilions or a recreation hall equipped with a kitchen. Also, there are 112 campsites available for tent, trailer or RV camping.

The Spirit of the Woods is a poolside cafe and gift shop that offers breakfast, lunch and snacks. Here you will find a wide array of souvenirs, field guides and books related to Florida and a small selection of camping supplies.

Nature- and history-based programs are provided by park rangers and include nature walks, campfire programs, Fort Foster tours and special programs.

While much of the park is ADA accessible — fishing, swimming and restrooms — those in wheelchairs may find some of the trails a challenge to navigate.

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