Always looking for a new adventure I decided on Oct 4, 2008 to go and check out Alafia River State Park. It is about 40 min South of where I live in Tampa, but it was a beautiful morning for the drive. So I loaded up Bo and we arrived a couple hours after sunrise. At the gate I asked one of the staff about some of the trails and he gladly gave me the information I needed…and some I didn’t like. The only trails I could go on with Bo, my dog, was the multi use trail and Old Agrico Hiking Trail. That worked out to be about 3.5 miles – but well short of the 20+ that are available out there. This place is full of great mountain bike trails (all cut and maintained by volunteers of the SWAMP Mountain Bike Club. There are specific trails set up for horses and mountain bikes and there are different levels of difficulty to. Hikers are permitted on all trails – I just was limited by bringing my buddy. We got to the trailhead and started on our way and I must say this trail was definitely the most challenging of the local parks I have hiked so far. It was a pleasant surprise to be going up and down hills and winding through the old quarry. There was a lot to see. Many man made ponds/lakes were formed once this mining location was abandoned. We saw a lot of animal sign and it was pleasantly cool under the heavy canopy. After the hike on Old Agrico we met up with the multi use trail and followed the loop. This was a wide, winding, level path that took us through a few different natural environments. There was a heavy fog still lifting that morning and the mist covered everything – the grass was even beautiful! There were many bikes on the trail that day and I saw 2 separate sets of riders on horseback, but Bo and I were the only ones on foot.
Once we finished our hike I drove over to the campground and checked it out – took a few photos and headed home. We had a wonderful relaxing morning and I encourage you to get outdoors and check out this beautiful place!