One of the few saving graces of former phosphate mines is that they provide awesome air for mountain bikers in Florida, and Alafia River State Park is one of the rare places where you can launch on a Florida downhill.
While Tampa is an urban center along the north shore of Tampa Bay, it has a growing number of natural lands protecting drainages into the water supply of the region.
Alderman’s Ford Nature Preserve offers a surprising treat for a Central Florida hike: whitewater, showcasing the Alafia River churning as it winds through a deeply eroded channel
An easy loop at Alderman’s Ford Park, the Nature Trail slips behind the nature center for a walk in under ancient trees along the river’s floodplain corridor
Bradenton, between Sarasota and St. Petersburg, on the south side of Tampa Bay, has trails that explore the mangrove-lined coast as well as wooded uplands to the east.
A Tampa suburb, Brandon provides a gateway to rural east Hillsborough County and its conservation areas along the Alafia River and Manatee River basins.
A windswept sentinel off the coast of Dunedin at the edge of Clearwater Harbor, Caladesi Island enthralls visitors with its remoteness, its quiet beaches, its extensive forests and mangrove swamps.
Protecting a windswept shoreline and a variety of habitats on a barrier island, Caladesi Island State Park is one of the gems of the Florida State Parks system
Clearwater Beach is at the northern end of heavily-populated Pinellas County, so although most of the trails are in urban parks, there are some wide open spaces as you get closer to the northern border of the county.
Gateway to the vast Green Swamp, Dade City offers easy access to day hikes and backpacking trips in the vast green spaces of Withlacoochee State Forest and water management district lands.
E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin offers a campground along with its beaches and mazy mangrove-lined waterways for paddlers and anglers along Tampa Bay.