Tampa Field Trip Ideas

Tampa Field Trip Ideas
Tampa, Florida, is known for its beaches, arts culture and sports, but few people realize the wealth of natural beauty and ecological diversity located within a short drive of the Tampa metropolitan area. Elevate the awareness of you school, Scout or church youth group, by exposing them to the natural wonder of Tampa's parks and trails.

J.B. Starkley Wilderness Park

The 8,000-acre J.B. Starkley Wilderness Park is located northwest of Tampa, Florida, and is a perfect place to expose young people to wonders of nature. Bird watching is available on a special site developed by the local chapter of the Audubon Society, and nearly 150 species of birds have been identified within the park. Car camping and cabin rentals are available alongside primitive camping for hikers and backpackers. Some freshwater fishing opportunities are available along the Anclote and Pithlachascotee rivers. Located within the park are 27 miles of marked trails, three primitive campsites along the trails that include picnic tables, grilles and fire rings, and a 6.7-mile, paved trail for cycling. The park offers five rental free picnic shelters with grilles that accommodate up to 50 people. Two larger picnic pavilions are available for a fee. These pavilions offer a large grill, running water and electricity.

J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park
10500 Wilderness Park Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 834-3247

Suncoast Trail

Opened in 2001, the Suncoast Trail is a 41.3-mile, non-motorized paved trail that parallels the Suncoast Parkway. Perfect for hiking or cycling, the trail begins in northern Hillsborough County and travels north through Pasco and Hernando counties, and provides a diverse view of natural, agricultural and suburban ecosystems. Interpretive areas laid out periodically along the trail identify native plant species, as well as points of historical significance. The portion of the trail adjacent to the J.B. Starkey WIlderness Park crosses the Anclote and Pithlachascotee rivers, and displays beautiful natural scenery.

Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation & Conservation Department
Channel Park Trailhead

9201 West Water

Tampa, FL 33625

(813) 801-6729


Hillsborough River State Park

Conveniently located just nine short miles north of Tampa, the Hillsborough River State Park, has nearly all the amenities a school, church or Scout group could require. Built in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corp, Hillsborough River State Park is one of Florida's original state parks. One of the highlights of the park is the Rapids Nature Trail, a path that wanders through dense marsh forests until it intersects the Hillsborough River, at a point perfect for viewing or photographing the rapids. The park offers camping at 112 sites as well as picnic areas and pavilion. A pool with the capacity for 216 swimmers is available alongside a poolside cafe and gift shop. The park also offers canoe and bike rentals as well as guided tours of the park.

Hillsborough River State Park
15402 U.S. 301
Thonotosassa, FL 33592

(813) 987-6771

Article Written By Jeffrey Caldwell

Jeffrey Caldwell has been a freelance writer for over five months and has published over 250 articles on websites like eHow and Trails.com. Caldwell writes articles on a wide range of topics including travel, camping and automotive mechanics. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Millersville University.

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