Florida Guide > State Parks
ALAFIA RIVER STATE PARK
Famous for its cycle trails and 12 miles of shoreline, Alafia State Park is situated in Floridas south west, 10 miles south east of Tampa and in Hillsborough County.
There are 20 miles of trails to enjoy all set in an amazing 6000 acres. Originally the site of a phosphate mine this has been re-claimed to show some of the most unusual topography in the whole of Florida.
Alafia River State Park was donated to the State Parks by Brewster and Cytec mines co in 1996 making it one of Floridas newest State Parks. Originally (rather sadly) called the Lonesome Mine it has been turned into the most wonderful natural experience for us all to enjoy.
You can enjoy the 20 miles of trails by foot, horse or bicycle. There are a variety of trails to choose from, going from the very easy to the very challenging.
You will find hills in this State Parks (not many of those in Florida! ) and pine flatwoods and hardwood forestation. Obviously, this means there is plenty of wildlife to be spotted.
This IS good canoeing country in either the river or one of the reclaimed lakes; however, at the time of writing they did not have a rental programme in place; but check it out.
You can catch catfish, bluegill and of course bass if you are an angler. The Florida Fishing and Wildlife Conservation have kindly put Sunshine Bass, catfish and speckled perch in the lakes. You are asked to put back in any larger bass you catch.
You will need a fishing licence available from sports shops and those larger Walmarts that have a sports section.
Bird lovers can see snowy egret, woodstork, osprey, turkey vulture and meadowlarks. Occasionally you will be very lucky and get to spot a southern bald eagle. You are strongly advised to take binoculars with you so you are ready to spot a bird or beast. The hilly nature of this park gives you some great views too.
Do take a picnic with you (including lots to drink) there are 2 picnic pavilions that provide welcome shade in the hotter months. Take sunscreen and mosquito repellant in the summer as well.
Near the picnic area is a good playground with swings and slides, so your little ones will enjoy this area.
The cost of admission is a very modest $4 for up to 8 people. Open every day of the year from 8 am to dusk.
Full address is:
Alafia River State Park
14326 South County Road
Tel 813 672 5320
There are a few other State Parks nearby so ask your ranger for details as you exit.
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