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This is a beautiful park close to the Tampa area. The campsites are separated into 2 areas. Most are small and open. On our visit, there were NO friendly people here. Some good hikes in the park. There are a few places to launch kayaks and I went from campground up to rapids and back down. Good paddle, lots of birds. Roads are paved in park and its a big circle so great for bike riding. There are large day use areas and a beautiful huge pool. Concessions were closed not sure if seasonal or covid? There is a neat suspension bridge and class 2 rapids along hike. Also a CCC museum (closed). Don't arrive before check in time because you have to wait in day use area until "it's time" for you to check in. Great park but not a great vibe.
If you want a very clean park, lots to do like kayaking, sandy beaches, short island excursions with picturesque views, then this is the place! It’s very hard to get a reservation for a reason. It’s more expensive for a reason. Just wat h out for the raccoons as they will steal the food out of your hands if you let them, they are not scared of anything.
Tent camped at a site in loop one. Weather was nice, though we were warned it can get a bit muddy when it rains. Crowds were a bit higher on the trails during Saturday afternoon but Sunday morning was much more quiet and we saw lots of wildlife.
We enjoyed our one night stay here outside of St. Petersburg! Secluded from town but not too far! The waterfront sites looked beautiful, especially if you have a kayak or paddle board to use! We stayed on the other side where the trail wraps all the way around for biking or walking. I do have to mention there seems to be a big critter problem here, raccoons kept us up for a good part of the night. I usually don’t mind wildlife but they seemed a bit rabid and aggressive, I was afraid to use the community garbages they had placed every 30 feet!
We needed a campsite near Tampa FL for a few days to meet friends visiting the area from up north. Being a Floridian, we’ve experienced FL’s state parks and found them to offer privacy between sites. We weren’t disappointed with Hillsboro River State Park. Weather was cool in February that allowed for comfortable hiking and biking. Good Verizon signal to allow for plenty of streaming.
Fort De Soto will forever be one of my favorite camp grounds. The beautiful weather, the critters, the terrain…all of it. Expect a nice, calming breeze rustling through the trees whisking you off to sleep. It’s totally zen.
All sites are pretty spacious, but I highly recommend riverside if you can snag one (a tad bit pricier). Note that the dog friendly site has great spots, but a little less privacy.
The best part about this spot, hands down, is the people you’ll run into there. People from all over the US travel just to spend a few nights there, and you’ll find yourself making new acquaintances every time.
The camp store just a short walk away has all the necessities you could ask for (even a snack bar a full Icecream shop!) should you forget anything, but most things are a bit pricier as to be expected. Should you need anything, I highly suggest running down to the 711 just a few miles away from the campground. They have firewood year round, and it’s 7 dollars as compared to 10 dollars a bag at the camp shop.
Be mindful of the raccoons at this campground. They are absolutely everywhere (most likely due to people feeding them in the past) and will have their hands in your cooler the moment the sun goes down. I highly suggest keeping food in your vehicle.
Really beautiful area. Sites w/grills that can fit 2 cars. Foliage between sites so they are visually private but can get loud depending on your neighbors. Plenty of space for hammocks.
Camp store on site has firewood, bug spray, sunscreen, all the basics.
We tent camped in July and it was truly the hottest I've ever been. Character building.
There are normal drive in sites and primitive hike-in sites.
Hiked in the mile or so to the primitive sites -- pack everything you need in. HELLA skeeters in the woods, bring high DEET spray. We went after it had rained and about a quarter of the trail was basically a mudpit. We were the only ones out there, which was great!
Canoe or kayak down the river is a must do! Gators, turtles, lots of birds and all downstream so pretty lowkey paddle.