Monday, October 29, 2007

Hillsborough River State Park, Tampa, Florida

Hillsborough River State Park Campsite
Hillsborough River State Park is located near Tampa, which is on the gulf coast of Florida. This is one of the oldest parks in the state, but in my opinion, one of the best. There are 111 campsites, some of which are on the river. The river sites in my opinion are not the best sites. Most of them are small and some are very short, which is not good for larger RV's. There is a pool, gift shop, canoe and bicycle rentals, snack bar, and miles of trails for hiking and biking. There is abundant wildlife and great photo opportunities. We hiked many many miles in the trails, but always seemed to see more wildlife walking the loop around the park. My husband saw a Florida Panther, we have seen wild hogs, deer, lots of birds, the usual Armadillo's, raccoons, Possom's and Squirrels. There are some great campsites, but like most parks, there are some not so great sites. We were lucky enough to live in Tampa, so before we ever camped at this park, we went through the park pen and paper in hand, looking for the best sites. My favorites sites are ones that are large, have privacy and woods around. I don't want to look over and see my neighbor. We spent several Christmas holidays at Hillsborough River State Park. The campground is always full during the holidays and during Christmas, everyone decorates their RV's with Christmas lights. It's very nice and festive. This is a list of the best camp sites. These campsites are the kind we like, which are large, private, easy to get into and have woods behind us. We do not favor the river sites because they are smaller and have less privacy. The following are what we consider 5 star campsites by our rating system: 17, 19, 20, 21, 50, 52, 59, 60, 61, 106, 108. These next sites are campsites we rated as 4 star. They would all be large enough to easily get a large RV into easily. They are private but not quite as nice as our 5 star sites. 5, 33, 36, 43, 47,49,56. From November through April, it is hard to get into any Florida park due to the vast number of snowbirds. We always made our reservations months in advance, especially for holiday weeks. The river is great for kayaking and you can put in right there in the park. They have canoe rentals is you need one. There are some great paddling trips on the Hillsborough River and if you want to see alligators, then this is the place to go. Many of these best parts of the river can be accessed through various parks in Tampa. There is an outfitter in Tampa that will tote you and your canoe or kayak to a river landing, and pick you up hours later downstream. This makes for a nice relaxing experience. You can find them at: Canoe Escape.com If you are looking for a great camping experience in Tampa, this is a great place to try.

1 comment:

  1. Well here goes. Glad I found your site and I'm reading it start to finish. I see your comments on other's blogs fairly often so figure you have learned a lot about the lifestyle. We are about 4 years away from retirement - hopefully.

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