State Parks Tampa FL

6 State Parks Near Tampa FL: Explore the natural beauty!

Tampa Bay is blessed with an abundance of state parks, each offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Florida. From picturesque hiking trails to breathtaking camping spots, these parks provide endless outdoor activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful picnic spot or the chance to spot wildlife up close, Tampa’s state parks have something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • State parks near Tampa FL offer a wide range of outdoor activities and natural beauty.
  • Hiking trails in Tampa’s state parks provide stunning views and opportunities for exploration.
  • Camping in Tampa FL state parks allows you to fully immerse yourself in nature.
  • Tampa’s state parks are home to diverse wildlife, perfect for nature enthusiasts.
  • Family-friendly state parks in Tampa provide fun-filled experiences for all.

Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park, located at 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL, is an untouched island paradise accessible only by boat. This state park offers visitors the chance to explore pristine beaches, hike on scenic trails, and embark on kayaking trips through the bayside mangrove forest. Take a nature trail walk to the historic Scharrer Homestead and witness the breathtaking beauty of the island’s interior. With its stunning beaches and abundant birdlife, Caladesi Island State Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

Caladesi Island State Park

Hiking Trails and Kayak Trips

Caladesi Island State Park is home to a network of well-maintained hiking trails that wind through the island’s diverse ecosystems. Whether you choose a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the island’s natural wonders.

For a unique perspective of the park, embark on a kayak trip through the bayside mangrove forest. Paddle along narrow waterways and discover the park’s hidden gems while immersing yourself in the tranquility of nature.

Nature Trail Walk and Scharrer Homestead

Explore the island’s interior by taking a nature trail walk. As you wander through the lush vegetation, keep an eye out for native wildlife and admire the vibrant flora that thrives in this pristine environment.

During your walk, make sure to visit the historic Scharrer Homestead. This preserved site provides a glimpse into the island’s past and offers a deeper understanding of its history and heritage.

Pristine Beaches and Bird Watching

Caladesi Island is renowned for its pristine beaches, where you can relax in the sun, swim in the crystal-clear waters, or simply soak up the beauty of your surroundings. The untouched shoreline offers a peaceful retreat and a chance to unwind amidst nature’s splendor.

Bird enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundance of avian species that call Caladesi Island home. From stunning shorebirds to playful seabirds, there are countless opportunities for bird watching and capturing memorable moments with your camera.

Activities Highlights
Hiking Scenic trails with breathtaking views
Kayaking Explore the mangrove forest from the water
Nature Trail Walk Discover the island’s diverse ecosystems
Scharrer Homestead Immerse yourself in the island’s history
Pristine Beaches Relax and unwind on untouched shores
Bird Watching Spot a variety of bird species in their natural habitat

Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park, located at 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL, offers visitors an escape from the city life with its white sand beaches and stunning sunsets. The park is renowned for its picturesque views and diverse natural landscapes, including virgin slash pine forests that provide a tranquil environment for exploration.

As you venture through the park’s extensive trail system, spanning over three miles, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the untouched wilderness. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that calls Honeymoon Island home, including majestic eagles, elusive owls, and adorable tortoises.

For those interested in learning more about the park’s history and natural resources, a visit to the Rotary Centennial Nature Center is a must. Gain insights into the island’s unique ecosystem and the efforts to preserve its pristine beauty.

At Honeymoon Island State Park, outdoor enthusiasts have a myriad of activities to choose from. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, cast a line and try your luck at fishing, or indulge in a relaxing day of shelling along the pristine shoreline.

If you’re in the mood for exploration, lace up your hiking boots and challenge yourself on the park’s scenic trails. From leisurely strolls to more rigorous treks, there’s a trail suitable for every fitness level. Bicyclists can also traverse the paths, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature at their own pace.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the natural wonders of Honeymoon Island State Park. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, this idyllic destination is sure to create lasting memories.

In the words of John Muir:

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

Honeymoon Island State Park

Activities Description
Swimming Cool off in the Gulf of Mexico waters and enjoy the beautiful beaches.
Fishing Cast your line and try your luck at catching a variety of fish species.
Shelling Discover seashells of all shapes, sizes, and colors along the pristine shores.
Hiking Explore the park’s scenic trails, winding through the virgin slash pine forests.
Bicycling Ride through the park, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

Anclote Key Preserve State Park

Anclote Key Preserve State Park, located off the coast of Tarpon Springs, FL, offers visitors the chance to enjoy the serene beauty of the Gulf of Mexico waters. This hidden gem consists of four islands – Anclote Key, North Anclote Bar, South Anclote Bar, and Three Rooker Island – each with its own unique charm, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the main attractions of Anclote Key Preserve State Park is its remarkable bird population. The park serves as a sanctuary for a variety of bird species, including the striking American oystercatcher and the majestic bald eagle. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

The park is also home to a historic lighthouse, which stands as a testament to the rich maritime history of the area. The towering structure offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Gulf of Mexico and serves as a picturesque backdrop for memorable photographs.

Visitors to Anclote Key Preserve State Park can indulge in a range of recreational activities. The white sandy beaches provide the perfect setting for swimming and sunbathing, allowing visitors to unwind and soak up the Florida sunshine. Families and couples can also enjoy picnicking on the beach and savoring a delicious meal amidst the picturesque coastal scenery.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, the park offers primitive camping opportunities. Pitch a tent and spend a night under the stars, immersing yourself in the tranquil ambiance of the island. It’s important to note that there are no facilities on the island, so visitors must come prepared with their own camping supplies.

Anclote Key Preserve State Park

Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park

Located at 8737 US-19, Port Richey, FL, Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re into kayaking, canoeing, hiking, or bird-watching, this park has something for everyone.

One of the main attractions of Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park is its pristine waterways. Visitors can paddle through the mangroves and salt marshes, immersing themselves in the breathtaking natural surroundings. You can bring your own kayak or rent one from Salty Dog Kayak Rentals for a memorable adventure on the water.

The park also offers a network of hiking trails that wind through beautiful pine flatwoods and oak hammocks. As you explore the trails, you’ll encounter several small artesian springs and sinks, adding to the park’s allure and providing opportunities for serene moments in nature.

Bird-watching enthusiasts will be delighted to know that Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park is home to diverse bird species. The park has viewing stands strategically located on the Springs and Eagle trails, allowing visitors to observe these beautiful creatures up close.

While swimming is not allowed within the park due to the mangroves lining the coastline, visitors can take a short drive to nearby Durney Key to enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

With its stunning natural landscapes, abundant wildlife, and opportunities for outdoor activities, Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park is a must-visit destination for those seeking an escape into the beauty of Florida’s coastline.

Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park

Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park, located at the end of Cockroach Bay Road, Ruskin, FL, is a hidden gem in the southeast region of Tampa Bay. This park is a series of islands accessible only by water, providing visitors with an exclusive and tranquil experience surrounded by pristine nature.

One of the highlights of Cockroach Bay Preserve is the breathtaking Little Manatee River, which offers a range of outdoor activities. Canoe and kayak paddling trails meander through the surrounding aquatic preserve, allowing visitors to explore the diverse ecosystem at their own pace. As you paddle along the winding waterways, take in the picturesque views and discover the hidden marvels of the park.

Anglers will find their paradise in the Little Manatee River as well, with an abundance of fish species thriving in its waters. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, the river provides ample opportunities for a successful catch. Cast your line, relax amidst the soothing sounds of nature, and immerse yourself in the joy of angling.

For bird enthusiasts, Cockroach Bay Preserve is a haven for avian diversity. The park’s varied habitats attract a wide array of bird species, making it a prime spot for bird-watching. Grab your binoculars, hike along the trails, and keep your eyes peeled for magnificent feathered creatures in their natural habitats.

After a day of exploration and adventure, cool off with a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the islands. The pristine beaches invite you to relax, unwind, and soak up the sun’s warm rays. Whether it’s building sandcastles, taking a dip in the water, or simply enjoying the tranquil atmosphere, Cockroach Bay Preserve is the perfect spot for a rejuvenating swim.

For those seeking an overnight getaway in nature, Cockroach Bay Preserve offers primitive camping options. Set up your tent amidst the peaceful surroundings and fall asleep under the stars. Wake up to the songs of birds and the gentle rustle of the wind, ready to embark on another day of exploration.

Interesting facts:

  • Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park is named after the Native American word “Pecocotchago,” meaning “burnt limb.”
  • The park is home to various wildlife, including deer, raccoons, bobcats, and numerous bird species.
  • Cockroach Bay Preserve is an important habitat for sea turtles, and visitors may be lucky enough to spot them during nesting season.
Activities Facilities Contact Information
  • Canoe/kayak paddling trails
  • Angling
  • Bird-watching
  • Swimming
  • Primitive camping
  • No facilities on the islands
  • Address: End of Cockroach Bay Road, Ruskin, FL
  • Phone: (813) 672-7876
  • Website:

Egmont Key State Park

Egmont Key State Park, located in St. Petersburg, FL, is a secluded island accessible only by boat. This unique natural and cultural treasure offers visitors a truly unforgettable experience.

One of the park’s highlights is the historic 1858 lighthouse, standing tall as a beacon of the past. Take a guided tour and learn about the fascinating stories that surround this iconic landmark.

Aside from its rich history, Egmont Key State Park also provides opportunities for outdoor activities. Take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters, try your luck at fishing in the abundant fishing spots, or simply relax and enjoy a picnic while taking in the breathtaking views.

Wildlife enthusiasts will delight in the chance to spot a variety of bird species and marine life. Egmont Key is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including sea turtles, manatees, and a wide range of coastal birds. This park is truly a haven for nature and wildlife lovers.

Plan your visit to Egmont Key State Park and immerse yourself in the unique natural and cultural history of this hidden gem. Whether you’re interested in learning about the past, enjoying outdoor activities, or simply appreciating the beauty of nature, this park offers something for everyone.


What are the best state parks in Tampa FL?

Some of the best state parks in Tampa FL include Caladesi Island State Park, Honeymoon Island State Park, Anclote Key Preserve State Park, Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park, and Egmont Key State Park.

What activities can I enjoy in Tampa state parks?

Tampa state parks offer a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, bird-watching, picnicking, and camping.

Is camping available in Tampa FL state parks?

Yes, camping is available in some Tampa FL state parks such as Anclote Key Preserve State Park and Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park. However, please note that Anclote Key Preserve State Park only offers primitive camping, and visitors must bring their own supplies.

Are there hiking trails in Tampa’s state parks?

Yes, Tampa’s state parks have hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the natural beauty of Florida’s landscapes. Parks like Caladesi Island State Park and Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park offer scenic hiking trails.

Are Tampa state parks family-friendly?

Yes, Tampa state parks are family-friendly and offer activities that the whole family can enjoy, such as swimming, picnicking, and wildlife spotting. Honeymoon Island State Park and Egmont Key State Park are particularly popular among families.

Source Links

Scroll to Top