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Originally the "Contact Station" where visitors were greeted by friendly staff, this fine old building now serves as the park's interpretive center. A replica of Fort Foster, one of the original 19th-century Seminole War forts, stands at the Fort Foster Historic Site. The suspension bridge today appears much as it did when built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) more than a half-century ago. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities in the park. Visitors may bring their own canoe or kayak or rent one at the park.
Hillsborough River State Park
Hillsborough River has an outcropping of limestone rocks that help produce a set of class II rapids.

History and Culture

The river was named in the late 1700s for Wills Hills, the British Colonial Secretary and Lord Earl of Hillsborough. After Florida became a U.S. Territory, settlers migrating in created conflict with the resident Seminole tribes. The U.S. government's plan to transport the Seminoles sparked the Second Seminole War. In 1835, Fort Alabama was built to protect the bridge over the Hillsborough River from Fort King (Ocala) to Fort Brooke (Tampa). The fort was abandoned a few months later and destroyed by fire. Fort Foster was built on the same site in 1836 and today visitors can experience the reconstructed fort. In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established the area surrounding the river rapids as a public park. Many of the park's structures and the suspension bridge are examples of the CCC style of rustic architecture, in harmony with the natural environment.

Imagine cooling off in the pool on a warm summer's day.

Swimming Pool

Jump right in. The park offers seasonal swimming in an ADA-accessible, half-acre, man-made swimming pool.

Pitch a tent or park the camper and relax among the trees.


Enjoy all (or most) of the comforts of home in the great outdoors. RV and tent camping are available with electrical hookups in the 108-site campground. Each site is equipped with water, a fire ring and picnic table.

Wander along the suspension bridge, built by the CCC in 1938.

Suspension Bridge

The natural scenic beauty of the park can still be seen from this historic bridge, built by the CCC in 1938.

The old park

Contact Station

Visitors used to purchase their entrance to Hillsborough River State Park at the "Contact Station." Today, this historic building serves as the interpretive center showcasing exhibits about Fort Foster, the Seminoles and the Second Seminole War.

The original park concession now serves as a visitor pavilion.

Old Concession

Old buildings are continually put to new uses in state parks. This old concession building, or canteen, is now used by park guests as a visitor pavilion.