Hillsborough River State Park is a prime destination for your summer holiday, offering easy access to the big city alongside the serene solitude of nature. The park is close to Thonotosassa (eight miles), Zephyrhills (ten miles), and Brandon (17 miles). This is particularly important for visitors looking to purchase camping supplies or rent an RV near Hillsborough River State Park. The bright lights of downtown Tampa are just over half an hour from the park.
Most of the park's acreage is covered with oaks, pines, and saw palmettos, while other parts of the park are swampy. As far as fauna is concerned, some of the most common species include alligators, sandhill cranes, and red-shouldered hawks.
Aside from observing the wildlife of the park, visitors interested in state park RV camping can also engage in a plethora of exciting activities. Canoeing, swimming, hiking, and biking are among the favorite pastimes here. If all this sounds right up your alley, start planning your motorhome camping adventure and search for RV rentals in Hillsborough County.
Since Hillsborough River State Park is home to a variety of animal species, you should kick off your adventure by observing the unique denizens of the forest and swamps. Don't forget to pack your binoculars in the RV rental to get a closer look. To learn more about the plants and animals that live in the park, visit the ranger station.
The biggest attraction of the park is, undoubtedly, the Hillsborough River. This is a popular fishing spot, so if you consider yourself a fishing aficionado, make sure you bring your gear and supplies. Expect to catch plenty of bream, catfish, and bass. Paddling is also permitted along the Hillsborough River, so feel free to bring your canoe or kayak, or rent one from the park.
Florida is known for its perpetually sunny weather and humidity, so when it's time to beat the heat, head to the park's swimming pool. This huge, half-acre pool is accessible for guests with disabilities and supervised by lifeguards from May to September. However, bear in mind that a fee applies.
Hiking is yet another popular choice for many park visitors. Four hiking trails wind through the park, totaling just over seven miles in length. Pick up a trail map from the ranger station and start your hiking adventure. Although hiking trails are open year-round, it's better to hike during the off-season, as the trails may flood in spring and summer.
Camping at Hillsborough River State Park
The Hillsborough River State Park campground offers pretty much everything you'll need for camping with an RV. In total, there are 112 campsites that can accommodate tents and RVs up to 50 feet long. Each campsite features a water hookup, a fire ring, and a picnic table. Most sites come with electric hookups, and campers can also access a dump station.
Restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities are provided for added convenience. Pets are allowed at the campsites, but they must stay on a leash. Visitors planning to go RV camping at Hillsborough River State Park can reserve their site up to 11 months in advance.
For those interested in something more rustic and adventurous, primitive camping is another option. These sites are hike-in and don't feature any amenities. Although this might be the ultimate Hillsborough River State Park camping experience, it nevertheless requires a considerable amount of preparation. Pets are also prohibited in the primitive sites.
Exploring the Area
Once you're all done camping at Hillsborough River State Park, take some time to explore the attractions nearby. Start by checking out the Fort Foster State Historic Site, located right on the park's grounds. This reconstructed fort is an accurate replica of the 1836 fort built here during the Second Seminole War. While the site isn't open daily, visitors can join a guided tour or attend a re-enactment. The accompanying interpretive center features artifacts from the original fort.
For reptile lovers, there's no better place than Croc Encounters. This animal haven is the perfect place for people who want to learn more about crocodiles and a variety of other snakes and reptiles, including the alligator snapping turtle and the boat constrictor. This family-friendly attraction is just 17 miles southwest of the park, in Tampa.
History buffs will want to set a course for Zephyrhills to check out the Barracks Museum. During WWII, this place was an Army airfield. However, after the war, the airfield and pilot barracks were demolished. Today, the former infirmary houses a museum where visitors can experience the memories of WWII veterans from the area.
If you're hungry, the park features an excellent poolside cafe where you can grab a refreshing drink or a quick bite. A few miles west of the park, you'll find a couple of pizzerias and a restaurant that offers traditional American cuisine. Additionally, there are plenty of gas stations and stores in the vicinity where you can fill up your tank and restock on supplies.
Hillsborough River State Park, FL is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Hillsborough River State Park. Outdoorsy's Hillsborough River State Park RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.