Whether you are a resident of Tampa or you are just visiting, there are plenty of scenic nature and hiking trails in Tampa Bay that let you experience a nature reset. There are many bay area hiking trails located near the water which are mostly shaded. With mostly flat land and great weather, majority of nature trails near Tampa are suitable even for beginners and the level of difficulty will rely on the distance that you choose to hike since no significant elevation changes are seen.
Hillsborough River State Park
Hillsborough River State Park can be found within Thonotassasa towards the eastern region of the county. This park offers some of the best hiking trails in Florida which are great for beginners. The trail in this state park will take you to the picturesque sight of the only Class II rapids in Florida. There are also suspension footbridges for you to explore. The paths on the rapids trail are either boardwalk or dirt and the park is also popular for canoeing and fishing.
Eureka Springs is a county park that is located near the Tampa Executive Airport within the eastern region of Tampa. It is actually a botanical garden where you can admire stunning flowers all year round. The trail is paved in different sections throughout the garden and there is a boardwalk that you can explore for the nature trail. There is also an orchid greenhouse and a covered bridge which are just as interesting.
Lettuce Lake Park
Lettuce Lake Park is a nature park that is great for hiking. It is located within Temple Terrace which is near the University of South Florida. The park has boardwalk trails that lead through Florida swamp which is surrounded by towering cypress tress accompanied by breathtaking views of the lake. The park also serves as a natural habitat to alligators and turtles and also offers kayak rentals.
Alderman’s Ford Conservation Park
The park is situated towards the easternmost part of the county off Plant City. It is one of the most favorite trails of the locals in Tampa Bay. Alderman’s Ford Conservation is a mixed of boardwalks and paved paths which meanders along the Alafia River. Some regions of the trail are beautifully shaded whereas others consist of footbridges. There are also trails that lead to the forest.
Alafia River State Park
This nature park is located in Lithia which can be found on the southeastern region of the county. The park offers intense beauty and serenity with trails that take you past meadows, leading to beautiful shaded pine forests. Alafia River State Park is a well-known spot amongst mountain bikers.
Upper Tampa Bay Park
This hiking trail is situated off the westernmost region of the county in Oldsmar. It has multiple trails with a kayak launch and a boardwalk on the water. Kayaks can be paddled through the mangrove trail and the hiking dirt trails are peaceful and well-maintained. Explore also the eagle trail which will provide you with a stunning view at the end.