Zephyrhills, Florida Campgrounds

Zephyrhills, Florida Campgrounds
The small town of Zephyrhills is perhaps best known for retirees and bottled water. However, for those seeking outdoor adventure, Zephyrhills features skydiving over the city and hiking the origins of the Hillsborough River. SCUBA divers may be familiar with Zephyrhills as the home of Zeagle Systems, manufacturer of SCUBA equipment. Zephyrhills has an abundance of RV parks, many catering to older guests, tent campers will also find options in the area ranging from one of Florida's first state parks to the undeveloped lands protecting the water supply for portions of the Tampa Bay area.

Hillsborough River State Park

Not actually in Zephyrhills, but six miles south, Hillsborough State Park merits a mention. The park offers campsites suitable for tents or RVs near the Hillsborough River. This park stretches through the woods on both sides of the river and canoeing is possible with exit points available at parks located miles down the river. The shady campsites come with a grill, picnic table, water, and electric, accompanied by restrooms, showers, playgrounds, canoe rentals, pool, biking trails, and hiking trails. Adjacent to the park, history buffs will find the Fort Foster State Historic Site, with a reconstructed fort that guarded the bridge across the Hillsborough River during the Second Seminole War.

Hillsborough River State Park
15402 US 301 N
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
(813) 897-6771
floridastateparks.org/hillsboroughriver

Alston Tract

On the eastern edge of Zephyrhills, the nearly ten thousand acres of the Upper Hillsborough Preserve protect the Hillsborough River as it drains out of the Green Swamp towards its destination in Tampa Bay. This preserve is divided into the Upper Hillsborough Tract and the Alston Tract. Alston Tract, the southern portion of the preserve, offers equestrian and primitive campgrounds near the entrance to the preserve. Hiking/biking trails run throughout the Alston Tract and into the neighboring Upper Hillsborough Tract, although portions of the trails may be flooded seasonally. The campsites have non-potable water, so campers will need to bring their own water--but a toilet is available.

Alston Tract
42144 Deems Road
Zephyrhills, FL 33540
(800) 423-1476
swfwmd.state.fl.us

Upper Hillsborough Tract

Spider webs stretched between the fronds of palmettos glistening in the early morning dew are a common sight in the 7,000-acre Upper Hillsborough Tract of the Upper Hillsborough Preserve. Use of the primitive, backcountry, and equestrian campsites with non-potable water simply requires registration with the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Hiking and biking trails extend throughout the park and into neighboring conservation areas. Portions of the trails, which cross upland pines, oak hammocks, and cypress stands, may be flooded--the Cedar Ford, across the Hillsborough River, is perpetually under water. Hikers, bikers, and campers are cautioned that this area is open to hunting during certain seasons.


Upper Hillsborough Tract
41404 CR 54
Zephyrhills, FL 33540
(800) 423-1476
swfwmd.state.fl.us

Article Written By David Chandler

David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.

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