View All Parks Director's Message

Hillsborough River State Park

 About Hillsborough River State Park

Trees hang over and reflect in the water. Photo by Joseph Kaye

A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER

Rick Argo

SUMMER IS FINALLY HERE

As the temperatures rise and days grow longer, get outside and enjoy the Real Florida!  No matter where you live in Florida, there's a state park close to you. Our parks are open to everyone and offer all kinds of fun. You can go there for the day to picnic, or take a vacation and camp. It is up to you, there’s a lot to do. If you enjoy the beauty of Florida’s natural communities and the rich and unique history of the state, why not visit Hillsborough River State Park, “Where History Meets Nature”?  Your family can have a “Back in Time” experience at Fort Foster Historic Site or go canoeing down the Hillsborough River and encounter one of Florida’s beautiful natural rivers.

Built in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corp (C.C.C.), Hillsborough River State Park will fulfill your need for the great outdoors. We offer an easy hike/walk on our Rapids Trail as it parallels the Hillsborough River or you might decide to take a more advanced hike on our 3.4 mile section of the Florida trail. It's always fun to explore these paths and listen to the sounds of nature. Parking lot #3, near our recreation hall is a great place to stretch your legs after a brisk walk or sit at a picnic table for lunch. There are even covered pavilions to get out of the weather. For those with four-footed friends, dogs are allowed on leash. You can fish in the park, year-round, but a current fresh water fishing license is necessary. The river shore is for fishing only, no swimming in these areas please. We hope you will come out and visit the Real Florida!

The Center for Autism & Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida has designated the Hillsborough River State Park/Florida Park Service an autism-friendly state park. This 3,383 acres property became the Tampa Bay area’s first autism-friendly state park after CARD-USF provided training to Florida Park Service staff members. The training covers topics such as autism spectrum disorders and strategies that enhance the experience while visiting the park.

The Division of Recreation and Parks is committed to making all reasonable efforts to ensure that its facilities, programs and services are accessible to, and usable by, people of all abilities. We are honored that the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida (CARD-USF) has designated Hillsborough River State Park as an autism-friendly state park. 

For more information on CARD-USF: Phone: (813) 974-2532; Fax: (813) 974-3290; Toll-Free Florida Only: 1-800-333-4530; Email: card-usf@fmhi.usf.edu

 

DESIGNATIONS

The Great Florida Birding Trail Logo

GETTING HERE

Hillsborough River State Park is located 9 miles north of Tampa and 6 miles south of Zephyrhills on US Highway 301. From I-75, Southbound from Ocala take the SR 54. Exit #279 east to Hwy 301, travel South for 6 miles, and the park will be on your right-hand side. From I-75, Northbound from Tampa take the Fowler Ave. Exit #265 east to Hwy 301, travel North for 9 miles, and the park will be on your left-hand side. From I-4, West bound take Exit 10 go north on CR 579 to US 301, follow the signs and go North 7 miles the park will be on your left-hand side. From I-4, East bound take Exit 7 (be careful of the merges) and go North on US 301 for 14 miles, the park will be on your left-hand side.

GET INVOLVED

CONCESSIONAIRES

  • Wheel Fun Rentals - Tour one of the oldest state parks in Florida on a surrey or bicycle. These fun rides are available for rent at the Hillsborough Park Pool Side Café. For your safety, remember persons under the age of 16 years are required by state law to wear a properly fitting bike helmet. To preserve the natural areas of the park, surreys/bicycles are limited to roadways and are not permitted on any footpaths or on off-road areas.
    Contact , (727) 728-5773
  • Hillsborough Park Pool Side Café - The park concession is located at the Pool Side Café near parking lot #4 and provides food, beverages, souvenirs, and picnic/camping supplies. The concession also provides high-quality custom umbrellas and pool lounge chairs for rent. Rental prices for both: $5.00 an hour or $20.00 a day. Park visitors can access FREE Wi-Fi service within a 150 foot range of the Pool Side Café (Weather and signal permitting).
    Contact Shane Bittaker, (813) 986-3322

PET POLICY

  • Florida State Parks Pet Policy
  • Pets are permitted in all outdoor areas of the park and must be kept on a six-foot handheld leash at all times. Please clean up after your pets. Service animals are welcome in all areas and buildings of the park, as required by law.