This Hillsborough County Park is one of our favorite campgrounds in FL. In fact my main blog picture above is from this park. There are about 45 campsites , all with power and water. They have two nice modern clean shower houses. There are only 5 campsites that are along the Alafia River. These are usually the sites we stay in.
We got here early Wednesday and found the camp nearly empty with our choice of camp sites. We paid until today, Sunday, and today decided to stay here for another 4 days.
They do not take reservations and up until now had a 14 day limit. The camphost said that now all RV’s could stay as long as 180 days. They limit tent campers because some homeless people find it an inexpensive place to stay.
There is a beautiful natural spring swimming area and beach that is probably popular in hot weather but it is not our cup of tea. There are two things that we enjoy here, paddling and bike riding. The Alafia River is a beautiful wild & scenic river with birds, alligators, otters and turtles. There is a county park upstream, Alderman’s Ford, that is a great put-in. Several times in year’s past we drove there and left our RV and then took a bike ride back to pick up the RV after we paddled the 11 miles down to our campsite.
On Thursday we decided to try paddling upstream for about 1-1/2 hrs. The water level was just over 100 cfs and we had some trouble paddling up some of the shallow shoals. They were easy to float back downstream and it took only half the time.
Ten year’s ago we discovered that they were building a huge housing development called Fish Hawk Ranch just south of our RV park and they were putting in miles of concrete trails. Well, over the years this 5000 acre area has expanded to thousands of upscale homes, shopping centers and schools. Last year they put in a new trail that connects our park directly to their development, so we no longer have to take the 1-1/2 mile road out of the park and the 1/2 mile road to the first trail.
On Saturday we biked about 11 miles of their trails. We were surprised by the almost tame Sandhill Cranes that we saw in three different areas along the trail.
We then did some shopping at the Winn-Dixie before heading back to camp. Late in the afternoon it started to rain and we had heavy overnight rains while we watched the NFL playoff games in our nice dry motorhome. They call this camping?.
We biked about 12 mi again today. The Alafia River went up from 100 to 400 cfs, it would be good to paddle on Monday but the canoe livery is not doing shuttles in the winter. I have to decide if we want to load the canoe back on the RV and drive or find someone else that could take us to the put-in.