Alafia River

Kayaker paddling up the Hillsborough river.

Hillsborough River Paddle Trip

The Hillsborough River paddle trip will take us on a river that is loaded with wildlife.  Cypress trees and Live Oaks dripping with Spanish moss line the banks of the river.  It is a winding narrow river from Sergeants Park to Morris Bridge that offers a lot of shade and beautiful scenery.  We are bound to see many gators, turtles and birds on this one.  

Hillsborough River

Just minutes from downtown Tampa, this diverse park offers a refuge from city life with its seven miles of nature trails and ample places to cool off in the water.


Except for occasional reenactments, the cannon and guns are now silent at Fort Foster. No longer do Seminole Indians have to fight to keep a foothold in Florida, and soldiers no longer guard a strategic river crossing. The reconstructed fort and its surroundings are now part of Hillsborough River State Park.


Besides a living history lesson, visitors can kayak or canoe class II river rapids, rare in Florida, hike seven miles of nature trails and swim in an ADA accessible swimming pool.


Tucked away, only a short distance from the bustling city of Tampa, camping is a popular activity at Hillsborough River State Park.


Hillsborough River State Park, where history and nature come together in a few fantastic ways. Our history goes back to the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936, when they stumbled on this piece of land that hid away one of the only Class II rapids in the state. The park opened in 1938, after the Corps’ foresight to protect this rare feature, showcasing it to millions of visitors over the years. While our distinct history could’ve stopped there, the uniqueness of the park goes back even further, all the way to the Seminole Indian Wars in the early 1800’s. Within the park is another historical gem, hidden behind the reconstructed walls of Fort Foster. The original Fort was built by soldiers, sailors and militia to protect a bridge along the Fort King Military road, used as a supply road during the Second Seminole War.

While you are here, visit the Interpretive Center, take a dip in the pool that is opened seasonally, get in a good workout with the new exercise trail around the paved park drive, or just relax near the beautiful Hillsborough River.

Stop by the poolside cafe for a bite to eat, rent a bike or canoe, pick up your souvenirs or grab the items you forgot to pack at the camp store. You’ll also find several pavilions throughout the park that may be reserved for your special occasions, like getting friends together for parties, reunions, weddings or just a simple picnic. Fishing is also a popular year-round activity. Bring your valid freshwater fishing license for fishing along the beautiful Hillsborough River. The river’s shore is for fishing only. Please help us protect our rapids and shoreline, no swimming in these areas.

Whatever your favorite activity, from rigorous hiking along the Seminole trail, getting your pulse up on the exercise trail, relaxing while you float down the river or taking in the rich history of the Real Florida, we know you will love this park.


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Paddling Locations