Aerial Drone Pictures of Fish Hawk Nature Preserve

Aerial Drone Picture of Fish Hawk Nature Preserve
Aerial Drone Picture of Fish Hawk Nature Preserve

Located at 16640 Boyette Road Riverview, FL 33569, Fish Hawk Nature Preserve offers Pine flatwoods, sandhill, scrub, and creek corridors. It also offers a Basketball court, bird watching, hiking, parking, pavilions, and nature study.

(Source: Hillsborough County Parks)

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Aerial Drone Pictures of Edward Medard Regional Park

Aerial Drone Picture of Edward Medard Park
Aerial Drone Picture of Edward Medard Park

Located at 6140 Edward Medard Parkway, Plant City, FL 33567, Edward Medard Park is comprised of 1,248 acres of water control structure and flood protection along the Alafia River. This park is one of Hillsborough County’s largest and most popular regional Parks.

Edward Medard Park extends along 1,284 acres owned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), where a water control structure and reservoir offer flood protection along the Alafia River. In 1972, under an agreement with the District, Hillsborough County developed this site as one of its largest and most popular regional parks.

The park’s main attraction is a 700-acre reservoir open for canoeing, boating and catch and release fishing.

Located on what was once a phosphate mining site, the Park offers unique topography with elevation changes that have become very popular for children’s play. A 3-mile trail that is accessible (dry) most of the year offers equestrians and hikers a pleasant trip through pine flatwoods and hardwood hammocks.

For overnight stays, the Park has 40 campsites to accommodate both RV and tent camping, including 2 Youth group sites. All campsites provide a picnic table, electricity, a fire ring, and water. Public restrooms with showers and an RV dump station are also available.

Edward Medard Park also offers picnic shelters, a boardwalk, a playground, a beach volleyball court and an observation platform overlooking the reservoir.

Unique to Edward Medard Park is a new disc golf course. Although the course has not yet been dedicated, and staff are adding finishing touches, the course is now open to the public. Disc golf is similar in objective to traditional golf; the goal is to complete each hole with the fewest attempts. In this game, however, players throw specially made plastic flying discs at above ground targets instead of using clubs to direct balls to holes in the ground!

(Source: Hillsborough County Parks)

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Aerial Drone Pictures of Calusa Trace Park

Aerial Drone Picture of Calusa Trace Park
Aerial Drone Picture of Calusa Trace Park

Located at 18331 North Calusa Trace Boulevard Lutz, FL 33558, Calusa Trace Park offers a Basketball Court, playground, and Baseball field.

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Aerial Drone Pictures of Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve

Aerial Drone Picture of Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve
Aerial Drone Picture of Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve

Located at 18102 Ramblewood Road Lutz, FL 33558, this 1111 acre preserve offers bird watching, hiking, nature study, and trails. Natural plant communities include cypress swamps, pine flatwoods, oak hammock and oak scrub.

The  Brooker Creek Headwaters Nature Preserve was acquired from 1993 to 1999 by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, and Hillsborough County through the Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program.

The 1111-acre sanctuary forms the headwaters of the Brooker Creek Watershed, which flows westward to Lake Tarpon and into Upper Tampa Bay.  The preserve is located in an area dominated by well fields and acts as an important aquifer recharge area.

The site is managed for threatened plants and animals such as the Hooded Pitcher Plant, Southern Pine Lily, and Gopher Tortoise.   Natural plant communities include cypress swamps, pine flatwoods, oak hammock and oak scrub.  These habitats are home to deer, turkey, bobcat, fox, and coyote.

A small parking area, kiosk, and picnic table are located on the west side of Ramblewood Road.   Visitors are welcome to hike on existing roads and fire breaks.  Portions of these roads will be wet during the rainy season.

(Source: Hillsborough County Parks Website)

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Aerial Drone Pictures of E.G. Simmons Park

Aerial Drone Picture of E.G. Simmons Park
Aerial Drone Picture of E.G. Simmons Park

E. G. Simmons Park is located at 2401 19th Avenue NW, Ruskin, FL 33570 and was developed from 258 acres of native mangrove with open land areas, intertwined with waterways. It offers picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, and is a popular overnight RV camping destination.

E.G. Simmons Park has over 7 miles of shoreline and has been a favorite of outdoor
Enthusiasts since the mid-1960’s. The park was developed from 258 acres of native mangroves and open land areas intertwined with waterways. An additional 200 acres of
Mangrove swamp has been preserved as a bird sanctuary.

The Park features 18 picnic shelters, 2 playgrounds, 2 boat launches and 700 ft of beach on beautiful Tampa Bay. The Park offers several fishing piers and plentiful areas for bank fishing. A canoe launch and trail are nestled among the waterways and mangrove islands.

The Park also features 2 campgrounds with 98 sites, which many have water access.
Both areas have public restrooms, shower houses and 2 RV dump stations for your convenience. All campsites come with electricity, water, picnic table and fire ring.

The Park is open 363 days a year (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas) with summer and winter hours.

(Source: Hillsborough County Parks Website)

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Aerial Drone Pictures of Dead River Wilderness Park

Aerial Drone Picture of Dead River Wilderness Park 009
Aerial Drone Picture of Dead River Wilderness Park

Located at 15098 Dead River Road, Thonotosassa, FL 33592 is situated at the confluence of Dead River and the Hillsborough River. Nature lovers appreciate a scenic two-mile trail alongside the Hillsborough River. This site also offers primitive group camping.

Situated at the confluence of Dead River and the Hillsborough River, this park is a pleasant place to unwind. Nature lovers appreciate a scenic two-mile trail alongside the Hillsborough River.

Recreational Opportunities

Bicycling

  • 2-mile unpaved, elevated single-lane road.
  • Bicycles allowed on river trail.
  • Always yield to foot travelers.
  • Do not skid.
  • Florida law requires bicyclists under 16 to wear helmets.

Bird Watching

  • Site 104 on western section of Great Florida Birding Trail.
  • Contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for more information.

Camping

  • Camping fee.
  • Campsite available to youth groups by reservation only. Minimum of 6 and maximum of 30 campers allowed. Groups must have their own insurance.
  • A 0.25-mile hiking trail for use by campers located adjacent to campground.
  • Bathhouse and picnic facilities provided.

Fishing

  • Available on Hillsborough River.
  • Contact FWC (FWC) for license requirements.

Hiking

  • 2-mile entrance road.
  • 2-mile natural surface river trail.

Paddling

  • Canoe launch is a short portage from parking area.
  • Canoe landing upstream one mile at old Reagan home site.
  • Hillsborough River State Park located further upstream.
  • Downstream is Seventeen Runs. This portion of Hillsborough River State Canoe Trail is designated as a primitive trail. Experienced paddlers only. Deadfall obstacles are frequent, dry ground for rest breaks is hard to find and the many forking channels can easily disorient paddlers. Pay close attention to flow of river and look for trail markers.

Picnic Facilities

  • Picnic tables located a short walk from parking area.
  • Disabled individuals may contact park in advance for special vehicle access.

Access and Parking

  • About nine miles northeast of I-75. From I-75, exit at Fowler Avenue, travel east for 1.5 miles. Turn left onto US 301, heading north. Drive about 8 miles and look for Dead River Road on left. Follow this road 0.75 miles to a gate. If open, drive to parking lot at end of road – about 2 miles.
  • Admission fee.
  • Visitors may drive scenic entrance road to main parking area during normal operating hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • ADA access and facilities available.

Restrooms and Water

Restroom, water fountain and telephone located by picnic area.

Dogs

  • Dogs must be on a leash no more than six feet in length.
  • Owners are requested to pick up after dog.

(Source: South West Florida Management District)

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Aerial Drone Pictures of Cypress Creek Preserve

Aerial Drone Picture of Cypress Creek Preserve
Aerial Drone Picture of Cypress Creek Preserve

Located at 3298 Robertson Trail Lutz, FL 33559, Cypress Creek Preserve offers hiking, bird watching, and nature study. Wooded floodplain, cypress swamps, upland islands and pine flatwoods of Cypress Creek are all located at the Cypress Creek Preserve.

The Cypress Creek Nature Preserve was purchased in a series of acquisitions from 1993 through 2001. Hillsborough County’s Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP) provided funding along with funds obtained from a Florida Communities Trust grant. This preserve functions as a wildlife corridor, an essential connecting point for several publicly-owned preserves.

The focal point of the 2,456 acre preserve is Cypress Creek, a tributary of the Hillsborough River. The creek is also part of a greenway recognized by the Sate, County, and the Hillsborough River Greenways task force.

The conservation Services Office conducts land management activities such as prescribed burns, invasive plant control, natural habitat restoration, and listed species recovery. Conservation Services also gives guided tours to groups and utilizes volunteers to assist with preserve management.

Access to the preserve is limited to foot traffic through approved access points during daylight hours. The preserve may be closed periodically during prescribed burns.  Walk-through gates are located on Robertson Trail whereas parking on Livingston Avenue is located within the road right-of-way. Although hiking is allowed, there are no formally marked trails; therefor, hikers can use the existing site roads. There are no facilities on the site.

(Source: Hillsborough County Parks)

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Aerial Drone Pictures of Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve

Aerial Drone Picture of Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve
Aerial Drone Picture of Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve

Located at 3839 Gulf City Road Ruskin, FL 33570, Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve offers bird watching, a boat ramp, and a canoe / kayak launch. The Cockroach Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project represents one of the largest, most complex coastal ecosystem restoration projects ever developed for Tampa Bay.

This preserve features bird watching, a boat ramp, canoe / kayak launch, hiking, nature study, and parking. Estuarine shoreline, restored tidal wetlands, and replanted upland areas located along both sides of Cockroach Bay Road in Ruskin.

Boat Ramp and Parking

Boat ramp access point and parking are located at the western dead end of Cockroach Bay Road leads to mangrove islands and the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve. Parking is along Cockroach Bay Road or 3839 Gulf City Road.   A short hike and climb from the parking on Gulf City Road is a scenic overlook which gives a spectacular view of the restoration and natural habitats in the area.

Cockroach Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project

The Cockroach Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project represents one of the largest, most complex coastal ecosystem restoration projects ever developed for Tampa Bay. The 20-year restoration project was initiated and managed by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department and the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Surface Water Improvement and Management Program.

Before the restoration, this area suffered from a number of environmental problems including habitat degradation, invasive plant infestation and poor water quality. Hillsborough County purchased the Cockroach Bay property in 1991. Planning began immediately and work soon started to restore 500 acres of wetlands, uplands and coastal habitats. Stormwater treatment and agricultural runoff also were improved as part of the restoration.

The final phase of the project included restoring two shell pits, funded by the Tampa Port Authority. The completion of this work in 2012 marked the successful end of the 20-year restoration effort that has improved the health of Tampa Bay and its sea life.

(Source: Hillsborough County Website)

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