Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Water Unknown
About Upper Hillsborough Preserve — Alston Tract
Drive In
Walk In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Upper Hillsborough Preserve — Alston Tract is located in Florida
28.1736 N
-82.1191 W
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3 Reviews of Upper Hillsborough Preserve — Alston Tract
A good place for a short stay

We stayed here for a few nights but our reservations were cut short due to flooding. Small enclosed area for tent and RV camping. Shaded pavillion and a few fire rings. Port a Potry was however atrocious. Good thing there is a Circle K just down the raod a few miles. Downside is that locals drive thru the turnaroind at all hours of the night and the roads are in bad repair.

FREE camping, i love

nice and quiet, i use a quiet run generator and bring in 50 gallons of fresh water for weekend stays. the drive is very rough due to teenagers mudding out there.

First to Review
Ranger Review: Midland – GXT1000VP4 2-WAY Radio at Alston Tract

Ranger Review: Midland – GXT1000VP4 TWO-WAY GMRS RADIO at Upper Hillsborough Preserve — Alston Tract


A free reservation is required and must be displayed or available at campground.

These (this) equestrian and primitive campsite(s) have several of your standard picnic tables under a nice large covered pavilion, fire rings and multiple grills. All nicely nestled into a set of large open areas under an abundance of shade producing oaks and some random pines. There is a portable ADA toilet and a non-potable water pump source available. So, campers will need to bring their own water or filtration system…

You’re situated right off to the side of some immediate access to 16 miles of partially wooded roads (“trails”) marked for multiuse, Biking, Hiking, or Horseback riding.

These “trails” at the Alston Tract of the Upper Hillsborough Preserve meander through pine flatwoods, consisting of both slash and longleaf pine overstory and floodplain swamp along the river.

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. The Alston Tract is a gorgeous portion of the Upper Hillsborough tract. Protecting the upper reaches of the Hillsborough River, the river’s floodplain provides natural storage of floodwaters and acts as a filtration system for runoff. The property also serves as an important link in protecting wildlife habitat in the Hillsborough River greenway corridor. Thus, there is an abundant amount of wildlife and many nice views. The property’s roads and trails meander through pine flatwoods, consisting of both slash and longleaf pine overstory, palmetto/gallberry understory and hydric hammock and floodplain swamp along the river. An interesting note is that on a short hike, one can travel through three different counties.

The Alston Tract's hiking trails are nothing more than a series of roads within a labyrinth of other old roads, although because this land is a preserve dedicated to protect runoff from the Hillsborough River portions of the trails may be flooded seasonally. (For more information on this tract, visit Southwest Florida Water Management District's web page) Alston Tract also has dozens of geocache locations

Things to note:

  • Depending on where you go you can be in the sun for most of the hike.
  • Parts of these trails can be filled with water (large puddles).
  • The map has numbers that match small signs posted at trail junctions, making for easy navigation
  • The campground and associated trails are closed during different hunting dates. Take note…

Gear Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time - today I am testing the Midland - GXT1000VP4 TWO-WAY GMRS RADIO

With 50 channels, this NOAA weather alert two-way radio gives you maximum output power with Xtreme Range Technology.

  • 50 Channels with Up to 36-Mile range communication in open areas with little or no obstruction,120V Charger.
  • NOAA/All Hazard Weather Channels with Alert and Weather Scan
  • 142 Privacy Codes,Frequency Band: 462.550 - 467.7125MHz
  • Vibrate Alert. 9 Levels of VOX for Hands Free Operation
  • SOS Siren allows you to send out distress/locator signals in an emergency situation, 10 different call alerts tones to notify you of incoming calls from your group

These “walkie talkie” and their headsets are wonderful. I got over 8 hours of use on a full charge, and they seemed to charge pretty fast on the desk charger.

Once you figure out how to set the radios to VOX then using either the built-in mike or the supplied headset for hands free talking is nice and easy.

The snug fitting earpiece is decent, if you can get it properly placed in your ear. It takes a little bit of wiggling to get right, and that's the only thing I'm not absolutely thrilled about regarding these walkies. Of course, it would be easy to just get a different ear piece, as these support standard earpiece inputs. Could be just me, but from what I experienced, I initially just got a little confusing on the menu when I first started playing around with them. Once you get used to them, they are fine. Remember, a full-featured radio must have some complications.

My main (minor) complaint is that you have to use the charging base with the proprietary adapter plugs, either the wall or car. It would be nice if you could charge the radios directly with a micro USB so there is one less charger to pack.

Some glaring advantages over other brands: (1) They cost less; and (2) Once you figure them out they are an absolute no-brainer to use. They have the simplest buttons and menu/interface plus the nicest large display characters of any of the inexpensive radios I know of. Mastering these units takes maybe 15 minutes reading the manual. Read the manual

The transmit audio was robust and loud, in my video I barely have the volume turned up at all. Whisper mode was interesting, as it really amplified quiet "whispered"….

Overall during several of my different tests audio reproduction was good and accurate, and they didn't clip anyone's speech. Use of whisper mode with a headset dramatically improved reception, as it increased microphone sensitivity as well as gain. When I tested in on the water with my friend the receive volume was good, except in the noisier areas (as we’re going full bore out to our fishing location), like one would expect. However, with the headset, this problem is eliminated.

The radios are durable and well built. Not surprising, since Midland has some great commercial equipment. Battery life is good as well. Easy to use and carry. Weather radio is a plus, very easy to set up. I liked all the features, including the "lock" on the buttons. Overall you will really enjoy using these radios because they are light weight, easy to use, have incredible features and have great reception compared to any other brand I’ve used.

I give the Midland – GXT1000VP4 TWO-WAY GMRS RADIO 4.25/5 Stars!


  • Clear Strong Signal
  • Easy To Use: After Learning Buttons
  • Great Audio
  • Lightweight
  • Rugged
  • NOAA Weather


  • Dual-function buttons can cause mistaken actions
  • Too many features complicate programming
  • Lack of a universal charging connector


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· Hiking

· Hunting

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