Best Walking Trails in Tampa, FL

You probably think of miles of beautiful shorelines, amusement parks, and water sports when you think of Florida. Many people don’t know that the state is filled with miles and miles of places for walking and hiking, especially here in Tampa, Florida, and the surrounding Bay Area. It only makes sense to get out and enjoy some fresh air and exercise with gorgeous year-round weather. According to the team at Tampa’s MAXIM Hair Restoration office, these are a few of the best walking trails in Tampa, Florida.

About Tampa, Florida

Image via Flickr by joiseyshowaa | CC 2.0

Image via Flickr by joiseyshowaa

Tampa, Florida, is located along Florida’s Gulf Coast on Tampa Bay. It’s the third-largest city in Florida, and while it has a significant presence as a business and cultural center, there’s also an abundance of things to do outside. The climate is pleasant year-round, which urges us out. One of our favorite things about Tampa is the excellent walking trails throughout the area. 

Lettuce Lake Conservation Park

Lettuce Lake Conservation Park is one of the most popular parks in Hillsborough County and is located on the floodplain of the Hillsborough River. With a 1.25-mile paved trail and a 3,500-foot boardwalk, you can take a decent walk at this nature site. Along the boardwalk, you’ll find an observation tower with views of the river. There are also picnic areas and playgrounds as well as kayaks and canoes available for rent so that you can do more than walk here. Lettuce Lake Conservation Park can be found at 6920 E. Fletcher Ave. in Tampa, Florida. 

Cypress Creek Nature Preserve

The Cypress Creek Nature Preserve is another great place to take a walk in Tampa. This 2,500-acre preserve is made up of wet prairies, marshes, cypress stands, swamps, and hardwood forested areas. The fence posts are painted red to indicate the direction of the trail that starts just south of the parking area. You’ll pass over a boardwalk with scenic views of pines, cypress trees, cabbage palms, and vibrant flower blooms. If you complete the entire walk, you’ll have walked 4.3 miles.

New Tampa Nature Park

You can enjoy a walk at New Tampa Nature Park from sunrise to sunset. This quiet park has on-street parking and a 1-mile walking trail that will connect you to Flatwoods Park. This trail is a great path to take with children since it’s usually not too busy and not too long.

Once you finish walking, you can also enjoy a rope play structure or the seated zip line. Keep in mind that this is a nature park, which means you’ll be spending time with the animals here, including wild hogs, turkeys, and even some snakes basking in the sun.

Tampa Riverwalk

One of the best places to walk in Tampa is the Tampa Riverwalk, a 2.6-mile riverwalk along the Hillsborough River and Garrison Channel. One of the most popular areas in the city, this trail is beautiful and enjoyable. While you’re walking, you’ll pass by restaurants, bars, and other attractions, including museums and parks. The Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park offers a spacious grassy area with an interactive children’s playground and a dog park.

McKay Bay Nature Trail

While serving as a national avian sanctuary as well as a multi-use path, the McKay Bay Nature Trail is a great place to get some exercise. A short 0.17-mile boardwalk trail will take you through mangroves and mudflats, where you’ll see various bird species, especially during the winter. There’s also a paved 1.25-mile trail that winds through the park and a half-mile nature trail to help you see more of this 38-acre nature preserve.

Upper Tampa Bay Trail

A welcome scenic escape from the hustle and bustle of city living, the Upper Tampa Bay Trail is perfect for those looking to explore nature, get some exercise in, and enjoy the fresh air. The original section of the trail will take you through Citrus Park and along the west bank of the Channel A Waterway.

The first mile from the Peterson Park trailhead will take you past livestock such as cattle and sheep. Other highlights are the suburban Ehrlich Road, the lovely Gunn Highway pedestrian bridge, and Rocky Creek. The Upper Tampa Bay Trail in Florida totals 16.5 miles, so you’ll never grow bored.  

Town’ N Country Nature Preserve

The Town’ N Country Nature Preserve is home to hardwood swamps, freshwater marshes, flat pinewoods, and hiking trails. You can walk through the entrance at 8304 Montague St. or use the Memorial Trailhead parking area for $2. You’ll catch sight of some local wildlife and plenty of lush vegetation. This quiet walk is excellent for a peaceful morning stroll and is a local favorite.

Rowlett Park Trail

Located along the Hillsborough River, the Rowlett Park Trail consists of two miles of asphalt trails through pine and oak hammocks. The area also has picnic tables, grills, playgrounds, and access to fishing and canoeing, which makes it a great walking trail to enjoy with the entire family. Fitness stations along the trail help ramp your exercise routine up a little. 

Benefits of Walking

Physical activity and exercise don’t need to be complicated. There are many benefits to taking a brisk walk around one of these Tampa, Florida trails. Benefits of walking include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Preventing or managing health conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Improving cardiovascular health.
  • Increasing energy levels.
  • Reducing stress levels.
  • Improving balance and coordination.
  • Strengthening muscles and bones.

The more frequently you get out and walk, the more benefits you’ll reap. Walking is a great physical activity and living in the Tampa area allows us endless opportunities to get out and exercise. There you have it. We hope you enjoyed the MAXIM Hair Restoration in Florida team’s list of a few of the best walking trails in Tampa, Florida. If we missed your favorite, reach out to us at 802-370-3227 or via our convenient online form to let us know about it. We’d love to check out more walking trails in and around Tampa to add to our list.