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Florida Outdoor Adventures
Hillsborough River State Park, Zephyrhills, FL
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Camping in 1926 with Indians
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Located 12 miles north of Tampa and six miles south of Zephyrhills on U.S. 301, Hillsborough River State Park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1936 and opened in 1938. This 3,738-acre park provides camping, picnicking, nature study, canoeing, fishing, hiking, bicycling and swimming. There are approximately eight miles of nature trails through the hammock of live oaks, sabal palms, magnolias and hickory trees that border the Hillsborough River.

This river has one of the few rapids in Florida, which makes canoeing upstream from the park impossible, however, the river is canoe friendly in the downstream areas.

There is a large playground, park concession and swimming pool located in the main public park. Fort Foster Historic Site is also located within the park. It is a reconstructed 1837 fort that was manned during the Second Seminole War. Tours are available seasonally.

There are two large camping areas, many providing excellent shade and buffer vegetation. We observed Swamp rabbits, owls and racoons at our campsite. The racoons here are extrememly numerous and bold and can be quite bothersome. Upon arrival a large racoon jumped into our Jeep through the open driver's window, scurried into the back of the vehicle, opened the food cooler and stole two eggs which he promptly ate in the driver's seat before he was discovered while we were setting up camp. In the evenings, racoons would approach our trash even within feet of where we were sitting. Be sure to stow everything edible in a very secure area, even when you occupy your campsite.

Dec. 1998. Our Campsite, large and shady with electric & water. It was a wonderful spot to spend Christmas.

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Our Camping Loop. Not too many "neighbors" this time of year. We enjoyed the peace and quiet of the woods.

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