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Florida sure is an exciting place that can’t seem to stay out of the spotlight, whether for all kinds of reasons. This popular getaway location is riddled with a warm climate oasis, making it perfect for some state park RV camping. One such park lies along the 40-mile long Little Manatee River that runs from Fort Lonesome to Tampa Bay. Set within 2416 acres of Wimauma, Little Manatee River State Park offers pristine camping when you rent an RV in Hillsborough County.
This area of Florida has seen eras-worth of people, from Native Americans and cowboys to the pioneers who built up the area to the modern-day entrepreneurs. At the heart of the success flows the Little Manatee River. To preserve the quality of the river and its rightful place in Hillsborough County history, the state park was erected for the public to enjoy and the river inducted into the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve. RV camping at Little Manatee River State Park will be the highlight of the season.
Little Manatee River State Park has set up the Sand Pine Trail. This multi-use trail system is a stacked loop system for hikers and bikers alike. The Sand Pine Trails extend 6.5 miles through the 11 natural communities found within the park. For a flatter biking surface, bikes are permitted along the three-mile paved road that leads campers into the park.
There are other hiking spots to discover locally in Wimauma. They’ll guide you along the rugged shoreline of the Little Manatee River; giving you a true sense of flora and fauna hiding away. Of course, if you venture outside of Wimauma or even further from Hillsborough County, there are other opportunities as well.
The main outdoors attraction for Little Manatee River State Park campers should come as no surprise. About six miles of the Little Manatee River rush through the park and is available for public use. The freshwater river twists and turns making for a fun paddling route whether in a kayak or canoe (rentals are available in the park) or on a standup paddleboard. Utilize the cool breeze coming off the river and string up a hammock in some nearby trees for a lazy afternoon lounging with a book.
With well maintained, healthy rivers comes a nice array of fish species. Fishing is allowed, and you’ll mostly find a selection of fresh and brackish water species. Many of the best fishing spots along the river are only accessible by foot or bike. Be sure to check out the fishing regulations to ensure you’re licensed appropriately before casting your line.
Both RVs and tents can be accommodated with a maximum of eight people per site when camping at Little Manatee River State Park. Each of the 30 sites has electrical amp connections, fire ring, water, and picnic table. Three of these campsites are also wheelchair accessible. While the sites are all located next to each other, there is vegetation acting as a buffer between each site, giving you just enough privacy from your neighbors.
The pleasant atmosphere and convenient amenities make renting an RV in Hillsborough County pretty straightforward. All campers have full use of the laundry, bathroom, and shower facilities. These will come in handy given how much time you’ll be spending on the river and trekking through the surrounding woodlands. Your body will be satisfyingly tired by days end and while the fire is crackling, the nocturnal sounds come out in force.
The main draw to the little area of Wimauma is the camping available at Little Manatee State Park and all that it offers. There are a very small selections of shops and eateries work a quick gander. If you are the more adventurous type or are traveling with active kids, Wimauma is home to a paintball center complete with a course. Test your shot on this vacation.
Wimauma, however, is an easy 30-minute drive to Tampa and around an hour and a half to Orlando. Both these cities are popular in their own regards. Tampa is a major sports team central; whether you like baseball, football, or soccer, catch a game while you’re in the city. It also sits on Tampa Bay, so there are plenty of interactive exhibits to learn about what the bay entails. Orlando, on the other hand, is majorly known for Disney World, which could easily take up a whole day if you so choose. If the kids are itching for some excitement, this could be a great compromise because it's known to bring out the kid in everyone. Take that youthful joy back to Wimauma and find a rope swing to splash into the river to finish out your day.