The 2022-23 Hillsborough County Hiking Spree is now underway, inviting you to discover – or rediscover- distinctive natural landscapes the county has to offer. Encompassing more than two dozen local sites, you’ll find trails for all hiking skill levels in a variety of settings, from environmentally diverse conservation parks to pristine nature preserves, beloved neighborhood parks, and picturesque Florida State Parks.
Egmont Key State Park is an exciting new addition to the list of Florida State Parks trails on this year’s Hiking Spree. Accessible only by boat, this secluded island at the mouth of Tampa Bay – believe it or not, located in Hillsborough County! – offers a unique departure from your tried-and-true trail favorites.
Use your own watercraft or the ferry service from Fort De Soto to reach the park. Then step back in time as you explore the rich history and natural beauty along the Lighthouse Trail, an approximately 1-mile loop that passes the historic 1858 lighthouse built to aid ships entering Tampa Bay.
In addition to exploring historic ruins of Fort Dade, you can expect to see plenty of flora and fauna along the trails, including gopher tortoises, Florida box turtles, hummingbirds, and seabirds. You might even catch a glimpse of dolphins and manatees along the shoreline.
Egmont Key joins two other Florida State Parks on the annual Hiking Spree: Hillsborough River State Park, a wildlife refuge located just minutes from downtown, and Ybor City State Park, an urban park dedicated to cultural heritage and storytelling. Add all three to your spree for a sampling of the cultural heritage and environmental diversity of Hillsborough County.
The Hillsborough County Hiking Spree is designed for all ages and abilities, and is timed to take advantage of the cooler, drier weather and to coincide with the prime bird-watching season. Complete at least eight hikes between Nov. 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, to earn your choice of a patch, medallion for your walking stick, or a bandana for your pet.
Share your spree on social media using the hashtag #TakeAHikeHC.
Register and begin planning your hike at HCFLGov.net/HikingSpree.
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Explore Florida History at Egmont Key State Park During Hillsborough County Hiking Spree – Hillsborough County