Monday, February 17, 2014

Hillsborough River State Park


It is always nice to be back in the RV, especially when we have the dogs with us.  Hillsborough River State Park is one of the eight original Florida State Parks created in 1938.  The sites are very close together, and many of the sites are very small.  We are here for two nights, and then back to the condo.  Since it is only 45 miles from where we live, and just a couple miles south of the county boarder of Pasco in which we live, it seemed to be a good place to come for just a few nights.  With the Florida Senior savior price of $14.50 per night, heck, it is a good deal.

1b     1c

When I registered I saw sites of varying lengths, from 20’ to 50’.  Well, if it says 20’, believe them…it is only 20’.  There are, as you can see, a wide range.  The 20’-25’ sights were full of tent campers and vans, and a small truck camper too.


The person above was really struggling trying to get his trailer into his slot.  I waited patiently in the car for him to finish…after about six or seven tries, he finally got it in…but his truck was still blocking the street… I backed up until I could turn around.  He did not look like a very happy camper…what a way to start his camping trip off.  But he was not the only one we saw struggling…the 5th wheel right across from us took about six or seven tries too…with “him” yelling at “her” and “her” yelling back at “him”.  They are from Michigan…probably down for the winter.  One time he got out, went back to look and giver her more instructions, and it did not seem that his camping trip was starting off right either.  About an hour after they got set up, I saw him head over to the showers area….and thirty minutes he came back as happy as could be.  Hmmm….I wonder if he was told to “go take a shower and come back happy, or don’t come back at all.”


Skruffy was with me as did our drive around the 115 camping spots, and then around the State Park itself.  There is about a 1 1/2 mile one way road that goes around the park, with many parking areas and the camping area road connected to it.  As you can see above, the right lane is for bikes, it is a real good park for taking bike rides, and many people have bicycles.


In the center of this large circle road are Flatwood Ponds, which you can read for yourself in the picture below.


Just past the entrance there is this Interpretive Center for the Fort Foster State Historic Site, which is part of the park.


Even though I told Marcia that we (Skruffy and I) were going for a drive around the park, I just had to see how the trail was for possible walks tomorrow.  Marcia has her GoGo, and the ground has to be such for the weight of the GoGo to no sink into the ground.  At Crystal River I just did not think the trail that I saw was as good as the one you see Skruffy on below.  I think there is a good chance we will do a trail or two tomorrow, with or without the dogs is the biggest question.


Skruffy was so happy to be on a walk that she was pulling on me and her collar was chocking her.  I had to settle her down, and ask her to walk next to me…eventually she calmed down and all went well.

3c     3d

At first my eyes could not be taken off the trees above….


Then I got a peek through the trees at the Hillsborough River and the reflection of the trees and the skies in the water.


There were so many small views of the water and the reflection, many of the pictures turned out pretty, and pretty confusing due to all the “stuff” going on within the picture.  Where is it water, where is it not…what is up close, what is far away.  Bright area, dark areas, and that ever blue water reflecting the blue sky.


But eventually there is this suspension bridge, and thank goodness no one else was on it because it swayed as you walked.  But it did provide for some better picture taking.


Above is a picture to the left (west), and below is a picture to the right (east)


As I headed back to the car, I took a route which hugged the river even longer than the shorter route I took on the way.  There is a large bend in the river, and I got this shot below.


And a little further up river…


…and the water is moving faster.


…and there they were…the famous class 2, sometimes class 3, Florida rapids.  Skruffy did real good on this 1 1/2 mile hike.  Tomorrow I hope we can get Marcia to the bridge, there is a shorter route there from another parking lot.  And knowing Marcia, part of her reasons for going is because she loves to see trees that look like this….



  1. It can be very challenging parking RV's for sure and makes for many unhappy couples. Thank goodness all is usually fine once everything is settled. But you are probably right about that trip to the shower:)

    Great reflection photos! Love that tree at the end!

    1. There is something about an old, gnarly looking tree, that's for sure. As for us, we got into our site without problems, but once in I needed to move to the "door" side more to find level ground. I'd much rather park this Class C than the 5th wheel I use to own, and the Class A was ok, just very big.

  2. Nice pictures of the river and the reflection of the sky! That was interesting about the Flatwood Ponds. Did you see any birds? I hope Marcia enjoyed the trail,

  3. Marcia is going to see some of it tomorrow, Skruffy and I were on more, or less, a scouting mission to see if her GoGo will make the trail or not. I did see some small birds, nothing on the water. We have heard a few very loud sounding birds a few times, but have not seen them.


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