Alderman’s Ford Park

Alderman's Ford Park

Ancient cypress at Alderman’s Ford Park

An easy loop at Alderman’s Ford Park, a popular county park, the Lithia Nature Trail slips behind the nature center for a walk in deeply shaded woods. Along the river’s floodplain corridor, you are in hammocks where massive cypresses and oaks rise above clear sand-bottomed streams in eroded gullies.

Resources

Hiker's Guide to the Sunshine StateOrlando & Central Florida: An Explorer's Guide

Overview

Location: Lithia
Length: 0.3 mile
Lat-Lon: 27.867496,-82.137076
Type: loop
Fees: $2 entrance fee
Difficulty: easy
Bug Factor: moderate to annoying
Restroom: yes

Park open 8-8. A paved bicycle path provides a connection to other parks along the Alfia River and leads to a boardwalk trail and numerous unmarked footpaths throughout the forest. The nature center, with children’s activities, is open 10-3 Sat-Sun. There are numerous picnic benches.

Directions

From the corner of Lithia-Pinecrest Rd and CR 39 (12 miles south of Plant City), drive north 1.5 miles on CR 39 to park entrance on right.

Hike

Starting off behind the nature center, cross the broad bridge over the willow-edged slough (watch for alligators!) and follow the footpath to the right to walk a gentle (kid-friendly) loop on a broad shellrock path through the palmettos and oaks, which returns back to the picnic pavilion. All around the picnic area and along the paved path, you’ll find gray “Trail” signs that point out trailheads for unmarked paths that meander throughout the upland and floodplain forest habitats.

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