Sunday, January 03, 2010

Hillsborough River State Park

This beautiful state park and campground is located 9 miles north of Tampa.
Map picture
You can click on this map and get different views, including satellite views.
camping at Hillsborough River SP
There are a lot of nice campsites. Our campsite criteria is: privacy, ease of getting into, nice view out patio side and back, large sites, and wildlife. These are a few of our favorite sites:  17,19,20,21, 50, 52, 56, 59, 60, 61 & 108.  Please note, some of these can be muddy when there is a lot of rain.  The center loop sites were flooded in 2003 and site #108 was wet to the point where we had to bring some mulch from home.  That was during a rainy December and this year is similar with the El Nino pattern we are experiencing.
These photo were taken from site #108.
florida fall colors   PC250024
We camped there frequently when we lived in Tampa and these pictures are photos from several camping trips.  We loved to kayak in the Hillsborough River. The river is a   black water river so you get beautiful reflections from the surrounding trees and foliage. There are a lot of places to launch, and the best places are outside of the campground. We bought our kayak from Canoe Escape, but they no longer sell any products, but do continue to run canoe/kayak trips and offer a livery service so you can paddle so that you can have a leisurely paddle downstream, and they will pick you up at the end of the run. They have rental kayaks or you can bring your own.  There are several different legs of the trip and each have their own characteristics.
There is also a canoe/kayak launch in Hillsborough River SP, at parking lot#4.
There is Cafe in the park where you can get breakfast or lunch and get souvenirs or camping supplies. Canoes and bikes can be rented from 9am –3pm.
There is a large pool that is opened in the warmer months.
The park has 7 miles of marked nature  trails, but there are a LOT more trails that make for great hikes. Al swears he saw a Florida Panther at the park.  All I saw was the rabbit the panther was chasing.  Of course we didn’t get a picture.  I checked and there are records of Florida Panthers at the park, so I guess he wasn’t seeing something.  We used to see a lot of wild hogs as well.  They can be frightening, especially if they have young.
Some campsites sit directly on the river, but they were smaller sites and not very private.  We always chose the non river sites and used the kayaks to explore the beautiful black water Hillsborough River.

If you go to this site, Hillsborough River State Park website,  look on the first page over to the left by where you download a park brochure, you will see one of my photos.  They even sold a mouse pad with this picture on it.  It was a time when the parks were having photos contests and you could enter your photos.  There are several more of my pictures on the visitor photo portion of their site.
The following are some photos taken around the park.
Some friendly Alligators.
On one camping trip we made an excursion over to Zephyrhills, which is just a few miles from the state park.  It’s a big skydiving area and that day there were a lot of people skydiving. That’s always been something I wanted to do.
River photos
This photo is of Al kayaking on the Hillsborough River. I just happened to have found this picture on someone else’s blog.  I guess I need to check on copywriting my photos and this one was definitely used without my permission.
I just went back on my history of today and found the website again.
Check out the picture….look familiar?  I sent the blogger an email.
Will see what response I get.
I guess we should all be aware of people illegally using our photos. photograph has been removed from his blog.  

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