One of the few saving graces of former phosphate mines is that they provide awesome air for mountain bikers in Florida.
Alafia River State Park is one of the rare places where you can launch on a Florida downhill.
Resources for exploring the area
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Address: 14326 South CR 39, Lithia
Fees: $4-5 per vehicle
Restroom: Near the main parking area
Land manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM until sunset daily. Leashed pets welcome.
From Interstate 75 exit 240 south of Riverview, follow SR 674 east to CR 39. Continue north to the park entrance.
About the Park
Sure, you can catch a guided ride with the Southwest Association of Mountain Bike Pedalers (aka SWAMP), or go on an Adventure Race, but it’s not a one-note park.
While hiking is permitted on all of the trails, better to borrow a fat-tire bike than be run over by one.
The equestrian trails, which can also be hiked, are extensive. They connect to neighboring natural lands. The campground provides a mellow getaway along a pine-lined lake.
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
An easy-going 2.8-mile loop trail explores the south tract of Fishhawk Creek Preserve providing a glimpse of a few natural and endangered Florida habitats.
Tying together adjacent Triple Creek and Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve, this nearly 5-mile hike loops through restored upland habitats.
An island of high ground in the Alafia River basin, Rhodine Scrub Nature Preserve protects more than 400 acres of Florida scrub habitat south of Riverview