As much of the country braces for freezing temperatures and snowy streets, it’s the perfect time of year for Floridians to get out and get in shape while experiencing our diverse landscape. Hillsborough County alone is home to over 60 conservation parks and nature reserves with over 300 miles of marked hiking trails, and the Department of Parks and Recreation challenges you to get a taste of what the area has to offer during the 2023 Hillsborough County Walk Feast.
How it works
This year’s list of hiking trails includes 26 trails at 24 locations throughout the county. Complete at least eight of these trails between November 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023 to earn a patch, cane tag, or pet bandana.
Ecologically diverse sites are spread throughout the county and range from neighborhood parks like Carrollwood Village Park to large preserves with multiple habitats like Edward Medard Conservation Park. The trails are designed to offer something for all ages and abilities – from newbie hikers to seasoned pros. Hikes are categorized as easy, moderate, or strenuous to help participants gauge which trails will best suit their fitness level. Lengths vary from 4 miles to less than a mile. In addition to the 26 listed trails, one of the hikes can be at a location of the participant’s choice that is not on the list.
Residents are also encouraged to bring their dogs on a leash on hikes; over 2,000 people registered their dogs for the Walk last year.
New this year: For the first time, the range includes Egmont Key State Park, which is accessible only by water, and Ybor City Museum State Park, which connects the historic trail of Ybor City.
Click here for a full list of trails.
The hike is timed to take advantage of the cooler, drier weather and to coincide with the main birding season. Participants are encouraged to post photos of their hikes using the hashtag #TakeAHikeHC.
Registration begins November 1 at HCFLGov.net/HikingSpree.