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Hillsborough River State Park offers the great outdoors to those in wheelchairs

If you've seen one state park, you've seen them all, right? Wrong. Those who are mobility-challenged rarely find outdoor recreation so available as at the Hillsborough River State Park. While the entire park is not wheelchair accessible, it has much to offer those who wish to spend some time in the great outdoors but don’t want to give up all the conveniences of life.

Respect the nature
Leslie Dougherty Filler
Rapids at Hillsborough River State Park
Leslie Dougherty Filler

Typically, camping and hiking are the main activities at a state park, and that is certainly true of the Hillsborough River State Park. There are over 100 campsites available for tent and RV camping. Each site has water, a fire ring, and a picnic table. Electricity is available on most sites. No sewer hookups are available yet, but a dump station is provided by the park. A sixty-site youth/group campsite and a primitive camping area are also located within the park. Several of the sites are designated as handicap accessible, but most of the regular sites can be easily traversed by a wheelchair. It’s a good idea to call ahead and reserve a handicap or a primitive campsite. Reservations may be made by calling 813-987-6771.

Binoculars are highly recommended while hiking nearly fourteen miles of trails at Hillsborough River State Park. The five separate trails provide a fantastic opportunity to observe the true flora and fauna of Florida, and to experience each of the five distinct habitats found there. Trails are of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty. Some are primarily hard-packed dirt with small patches of loose sand, so wheelchairs may be pushed on them rather easily.

Centrally located in the park is the Spirit of the Woods Restaurant and Gift Shop. Sandwiches and snacks, as well as miscellaneous camping and picnic items, may be purchased. Guests may also rent canoes, kayaks and carts here. Guided canoe trips are offered in the park.

Adjacent to the Spirit of the Woods is a one-half acre swimming pool. This unique pool is comprised of a salt water solution. The pool is ADA accessible.

Restrooms throughout the park are clean and wheelchair accessible and the various parking lots have designated handicap spots.

Most pets are welcome in the park, with some restrictions. See the ranger for rules concerning pets.

Hillsborough River State park is located on Rt. 301 in North Thonotosassa. More information about the park can be found on the website

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