Nature Preserves and Parks in Tampa
February and March in Florida are the perfect months for outdoor activities because the weather is not unbearably hot just yet and the rain doesn’t fall too much. The beach is always an option for an outdoors day, but the Tampa area is filled with so many parks and nature preserves to check out, too. Some are smaller than others, so it doesn’t have to be an all day affair, but a little hike and fresh air never hurt anybody.
Weeden Island Preserve
Weeden Island Preserve is a 3,190 acre nature preserve located in St. Petersburg. Follow along for a guided tour or wander around on your own to see the Cultural and Natural History Center and the boardwalk trails through multiple ecosystems. The close proximity to the bay makes this preserve a popular birding and fishing site.
Fort DeSoto Park
Fort DeSoto Park is a popular beach spot during the spring and summer months because of its powdery white sand and clear water, but the park is a perfect place to visit year round. There is a ton of wildlife roaming the park no matter what season. There are also a bunch of activities to participate in for good prices such as kayaking and camping. The campsites are located near the beaches and waterfront sites are available for only a couple dollars more. Camping is currently at peak season, so snag a site if you can. Sites are equipped with an electrical plug and a nearby bathroom with showers if staying outdoors is something that doesn’t sound super attractive to you. If the showers didn’t sell you on camping at Fort DeSoto, then the sunset views from your campsite will.
Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve
The home of one of the largest contiguous recreation areas in Hillsborough county is the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve. At the preserve, you can find alligators, different species of birds, and turtles while paddle boarding or kayaking. There are almost sixty miles of forrest trails to explore and spaces for grilling and picnics for after your hike.
Lettuce Lake Park
Lettuce Lake Park is a 240-acre site that has over a million visitors a year. Visitors can hike, kayak, work out, fish, or take a guided tour. These tours are on Saturdays and Sundays and only cost $5. The park rangers will take you through the boardwalk trails along the Hillsborough River and point out the animals that are living in the beautiful park.
This is just to name a few! The Hillsborough County website is a great resource to find even more parks and preserves to visit on your days off.
For more outdoor ideas in Tampa, check out Date With The Manatees: Kayaking at Crystal River and February Tampa 5ks and Runs.