Top 5 Winter Hiking Destinations in the Tampa Bay Area

 

Winter is a great time of year to travel to Florida. Whether escaping snow or rainy weather, tourists flock to the Gulf Coast of Florida in search of sunshine and beautiful beaches. The Tampa Bay Area offers plenty of activities for the outdoor enthusiast too. So when you’ve had enough of sand n’ surf, enjoy these winter hiking destinations in the Tampa Bay Area.

It’s worth noting that Tampa Bay is not the name of a city. There is a city called Tampa and a few local sports teams with Tampa Bay in the name. However, the Tampa Bay Area is a major populated area surrounding Tampa Bay on the west coast of Florida. The moniker is largely used by the tourist industry to talk about Florida cities—Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater.

 

#1 Bayshore Linear Park Trail – Bayshore Greenway

winter-hiking-destinations-in-the-tampa-bay-area-Bayshore_Greenway_(Tampa)

One of the most scenic routes anywhere in Tampa is Bayshore Boulevard. This makes the Bayshore Linear Park Trail a favorite amongst winter hiking destinations in the Tampa Bay Area. It is a waterfront road on Hillsborough Bay in South Tampa.

The urban trail is 4.5 miles long, and while there are claims it is the world’s longest continuous sidewalk, it’s not. Trail amenities include benches, a water fountain, bicycle parking, a city marina and fitness stations.

The Bayshore Boulevard sidewalk is 10-feet wide and used by joggers, bikers, walkers, and skaters. On the land side of Bayshore Boulevard are dozens of grandiose old and historic homes that belong to some of Tampa’s wealthiest residents. On the bay side, is a linear park and miles of stunning, waterfront views overlooking Hillsborough Bay,

For early risers, morning jogs and bike rides are great to catch the sunrise but remember you are on a major thoroughfare with cars. So come time for rush hour (between 7 to 9 AM and 4 to 6 PM) the traffic may make for a less-than-pleasant trip down the scenic boulevard.

In case you were wondering, where is the longest sidewalk is located in the world? According to Wikipedia, “The longest continuous sidewalk in the world is actually the Rambla of Montevideo, which is over 13.7 miles (22.2 km) long and that borders the entire coast of Montevideo, Uruguay, along the Río de la Plata.”

Location and Hours

LOCATION Bayshore Linear Park Trail – Bayshore Greenway
312 Bayshore Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33629
HOURS Sunrise to Sunset
CONTACT (813) 274-8615
ENTRANCE FEE
Free. Parking is available at the Bay to Bay Park, Ballast Point Park, and Fred Ball Park.

 

#2 Moccasin Lake Nature Park

If you’re looking for a fun and educational outdoor experience for the whole family, then don’t miss Moccasin Lake Nature Park. Ideal for little ones, grandma and grandpa, and everyone in between this peaceful nature park has an interpretative center where you can see snakes, turtles, and bugs up close!

Outside the Moccasin Lake Environmental Education Center, you will find a ton of enclosures are filled with rescued birds of prey and turtles, which would not survive in the wild. There is just over one mile of natural and board walked trails winding through the nature preserve and 5-acre lake. Experience the natural exotic and native animals and the environment of Florida.

Visitors can sometimes see wild turtles, otters, birds, alligators and much more along the trail.

Location and Hours

LOCATION Moccasin Lake Nature Park
2750 Park Trail Ln.
Clearwater, FL 33759-2602
HOURS Thursday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00PM – 4:00PM
Closed All City Recognized Holidays
CONTACT (727) 793-2976
ENTRANCE FEE
Free. Donations encouraged.

 

#3 Upper Tampa Bay Regional Park

winter-hiking-destinations-in-the-tampa-bay-area-Upper Tampa Bay Park

With nearly 600 acres of unspoiled mangrove wetlands along Tampa Bay’s shoreline near the Town N’ Country area, Upper Tampa Bay County Park offers a taste of what Florida was like when the first Spanish explorers began to survey the region. 

Canoe and kayak rentals are offered and along with the unspoiled areas, there are modern amenities to help enjoy the park. A massive boardwalk keeps feet dry and puts a little bit of distance between hikers and the native wildlife. Hiking trails are available for a closer look at the flora and fauna that make up the incredibly diverse ecosystem of one of Florida’s great estuaries.

The elevation of Upper Tampa Bay Park is at only six feet above sea level so much of the park becomes flooded during extremely high tides. The Park helps to protect ecological communities and valuable coastal habitat that include freshwater marshes, mangrove forests, salt marshes, coastal hammocks, and pine flatwoods. Park visitors may see tortoises, butterflies, and the occasional bobcat.

Activities include boating, canoeing and kayaking, cycling, fishing (freshwater and saltwater) hiking, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing.

Location and Hours

LOCATION Upper Tampa Bay Regional Park
8001 Double Branch Rd.
Tampa, FL 33635
HOURS 8AM to 6PM
CONTACT (813) 855-1765
ENTRANCE FEE
$2 per vehicle. Up to 8 people per vehicle. Rentals are extra

 

#4 Mckay Bay Nature Park Trail – Mckay Bay Greenway

winter-hiking-destinations-in-the-tampa-bay-area-McKay-Bay-Park

McKay Bay Nature Park is a 38-acre park and national avian sanctuary offering plentiful birding and wildlife observation. Park visitors can take the boardwalk trail that winds through mangroves toward the extensive mudflats of McKay Bay.

As part of the Great Florida Birding Trail West Coast Section, many varieties of birds can be seen foraging, particularly in winter months. Birds may also be viewed with spotting scopes from either the park’s observation tower/education pavilion located on the east side or the bird viewing station on the west side.

A paved 1.25-mile multi-use path leads through the park and circles the peninsula to the south. While this park has fewer amenities than the other parks we feature, there is ample parking, interpretative signage, bicycle racks, and picnic tables.

McKay Bay Nature Park visitors can walk or bike the paved trail to check a series of freshwater ponds complete with winter ducks including Northern Pintail, Canvasback and Ruddy Duck. Wood Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, Greater Scaup, and other waterbirds are present year round.

Migration brings songbirds such as Northern Waterthrush, Blackpoll Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Swainson’s Thrush.

Location and Hours

LOCATION McKay Bay Nature Park Trail
134 N. 34th Street
Tampa, FL 33635
HOURS Sunrise to Sunset
CONTACT (813) 855-1765
ENTRANCE FEE
$2 per vehicle. Up to 8 people per vehicle. Rentals are extra.

 
 

#5 Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Formerly named Lake Maggiore Park, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve originally began its life as a zoo and botanical garden for the city of St. Petersburg. Today, the park encompasses 245 acres of pristine Florida wilderness and five vastly different eco-systems. Moreover, the park is situated in Florida’s most densely populated Pinellas County.

Park visitors can explore 6 miles of trails and boardwalks. From the outer Main Trail, there are five side trails (mostly loops) showcasing specific habitats: the Swamp Woodlands Trail, Willow Marsh Trail, Lake Maggiore Trail, Scrub Island Trail, and Pine Flatwoods Trail. Park visitors enjoy the immersion into each habitat on the side trails, and the amusing giant armadillos along Wax Myrtle Pond.

LOCATION AND HOURS

LOCATION Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
1101 Country Club Way
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
HOURS November 1 – February 29
Tuesday – Friday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm • Saturday 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm • Monday Closed
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day
March 1 – October 31
Tuesday – Friday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm • Saturday 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm • Monday Closed
CONTACT (813) 855-1765
ENTRANCE FEE  Annual Passes Available
$3 Adult
$1.50 Child (Age 3 to 16)
Free (Age 2 and under)
Sorry, no pets.

Before setting out on your hike, be sure to check for any route changes or closures, or inclement weather conditions and always bring a compass. 

It is important for tourists to keep in mind that Florida is very different than other parts of the country when it comes to hiking.

For starters, there are alligators in Florida. While they rarely pose a threat, there are precautions to take. Other types of wildlife to be aware of include bears, panthers, and snakes.

Weather is of concern during the summer months but not so much during winter at hiking destinations near the Tampa Bay Area we’ve talked about here. Even so, before hiking in Florida any time of year be sure to check out these hiker safety guidelines.

 

 

 

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Metro Self Storage Opens New Lincolnshire Buffalo Grove Storage Facility

 

Illinois-based Metro Self Storage announces the grand opening of our newly built storage facility in the northwest Chicago suburb of Buffalo Grove. Local residents and businesses will find new storage options located at 847 Deerfield Parkway, near Busch Parkway.

Choose from 850 brand new climate-controlled storage units in our state-of-the-art and climate-controlled storage facility. Customers can conveniently load and unload their storage units protected from the elements thanks to large, interior bays or loading doors on the north and south sides of the building. Continue reading “Metro Self Storage Opens New Lincolnshire Buffalo Grove Storage Facility”

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New research shows that when Millennials aren’t shelling out a sizable sum for avocado toast, they’re moving to smaller, affordable cities like Wichita, Kansas. According to a recent article in the New York Times, the flow of young professionals to large Urban cities appears to be flattening. 

While it will take more time to figure out completely, one thing is for sure, affordability, jobs, and food trucks serving camera-ready food, are all reasons why millennials love living in Wichita. By all accounts, it appears that millennials are trading in high rents and housing rates for more affordable vibrant cities. Read on to find out why millennials love living in Wichita. Continue reading “Why Millennials Love Living in Wichita | Metro Self Storage”

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Metro Self Storage Opens Brand New North Plainfield Storage Facility

 

Would you like to keep your valued possessions at a New North Plainfield Storage Facility in New Jersey?

Metro’s newly constructed North Plainfield storage facility on Route 22 is now open and accepting reservations for temperature-controlled storage units. These are ideal for storing your personal, household, recreational, and business items.

The new, five-story climate-controlled storage facility features large interior loading areas in addition to multiple other entrances around the building for your added convenience. The state-of-the-art building is one of the newest modern self storage facilities in North Plainfield and Union County. Metro Self Storage locations offer all of the great features you’ve come to expect including superior customer service.

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Metro Self Storage Opens Brand New Naperville Storage Facility

 

Illinois-based Metro Self Storage is pleased to announce the grand opening of our brand new Naperville Storage facility on N. Aurora Road. Unique to the area, this ground-level storage center offers the ultimate in convenience to nearby residents and business owners looking for climate-controlled storage units.  

As an early pioneer of self storage, Metro Self Storage is a name you can trust when it comes finding clean, reliable storage for your belongings. Today, Metro continues to set the bar high to define outstanding customer service in the industry. Continue reading “Metro Self Storage Opens Brand New Naperville Storage Facility”

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You’re invited to join the festivities with your friends and neighbors! Metro Self Storage Ribbon Cutting Party in Addison, IL

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Don’t miss your chance to win a Google Home Mini or Amazon Eco Dot at this event (see invitation below for more details). So please mark your calendar for July 12th, 2018.

Festivities will begin at 4:30 PM. Our  guest of honor at this special event is the Addison Mayor, Rich Veenstra. Continue reading “New Addison Self Storage Facility | Metro Self Storage Celebrates Ribbon Cutting”

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New Naperville Storage Facility on N. Aurora Road

 

Illinois-based Metro Self Storage is pleased to announce the grand opening of our storage facility in Naperville, IL. Unique to the area, our ground-level storage units offer the ultimate in convenience. If you’re looking for climate-controlled storage units don’t miss Naperville’s newest self storage facility featuring climate-controlled storage units.

As an early pioneer of self storage, Metro Self Storage is a name you can trust when it comes to finding clean, reliable storage units for your belongings. Today, Metro continues to set the bar high to define outstanding customer service in the industry.

Continue reading “New Naperville Storage Facility on N. Aurora Road”

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Chicago-based Metro Self Storage celebrated the grand opening of its 22nd store in Illinois on May 23rd.  We’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate the grand opening of our new St. Charles Self Storage facility! It’s one of the few modern self storage facilities in St. Charles and the surrounding areas. Continue reading “Metro Self Storage Celebrates Brand New St. Charles Self Storage Facility”

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Between cultural, ethnic, and geographic diversity and historical significance, Atlanta has a lot to offer people living in and moving to the area. Atlanta is made up of a complex network of neighborhoods in its Metroplex. While the urban areas of Midtown, Downtown, and Buckhead are attractive for professionals and artists, the best Atlanta Suburbs attract people from all over the world. Continue reading “Moving to Georgia (Part 1): The Best Atlanta Suburbs for Education, Arts, and Sustainability”

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How Much Does Self Storage Cost in Largo, Florida?

 

Have you ever found yourself asking “Where are the cheapest storage units near me?” In today’s economic environment most everyone likes to save a buck whenever possible and looking for the cheapest self storage options in Largo, FL is no exception. Besides, with so many beautiful beaches and fun things to do in Largo, who has time to shop around?
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Metro Self Storage Opens New Addison Storage Facility!

 

Would you like to keep your valued possessions at a modern storage facility in Addison, Illinois?

If you travel along the I-355 and I-290 Interchange, you’ve undoubtedly noticed, there’s a brand new storage facility in Addison. Illinois-based Metro Self Storage is pleased to announce our state-of-the-art Addison storage facility is now open for business! Continue reading “Metro Self Storage Opens New Addison Storage Facility!”

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The Ultimate Guide to Commuting in Minnesota


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Maybe the famous Minnehaha Falls will sell you on the North Star State, or the much-lauded Walker Arts Center. You might even find yourself wondering just what it might be like to live next to that the four-story behemoth, the Mall of America. Continue reading “The Ultimate Guide to Commuting in Minnesota”

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Of course, there’s nothing like seeing your children amazed as they listen to an elephant trumpet or watch the bonobo play. Strolling the zoo and exhibits is the perfect way to spend a day with family and friends.

Take an up-close look at some of the incredible animals you’ll see at the Milwaukee County Zoo in near Brown Deer, WI. Continue reading “What types of Animals Will I See at the Milwaukee County Zoo?”

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Do you suddenly find yourself with some free time in the West Chicago suburbs? Sure you could run errands, study or get some extra work done, but how about playing tourist in your hometown?

There are a few things that everyone in Chicagoland should experience, especially near the Downtown Naperville Riverwalk, and there’s no time like the present to check a few things off that bucket list. Continue reading “Downtown Naperville Riverwalk | Your Guide to Special Events and More!”

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City Guide: Things To Do During Winter in Minneapolis

by Haley Kaiser

It’s mid-November, and the familiar frosty bite of winter has come over one of our favorite towns in the Midwest: Minneapolis, Minnesota. Okay, it’s no lie, December through March is considered to be frigid and, even at times, extreme.

But whereas some may shy away from these wintry conditions, those in one of our country’s northernmost cities embrace the cold with pure jubilee and downright style; the winter months here are a time of celebration of what makes this area so incredibly unique. This holiday season, don’t just survive but thrive in the winter wonderland of Minneapolis.

Continue reading “City Guide: Things To Do During Winter in Minneapolis”

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St. Charles, Illinois | Your Guide to Restaurants and Family Fun

 

Looking for things to do with your family near St. Charles, Illinois? You’re in luck. The Greater St. Charles area is an ideal destination for locals and tourists alike.

Enjoy hearty soups in the winter and ice cream on a hot summer day in the heart of downtown. Experience stunning sculpture gardens in the park or take an inspirational art class.

From sweet treats and delicious lunches to outside activities and family-friendly concerts in the Chicagoland area, we’ve got you covered. Our easy-to-read-guide highlights local businesses.

Continue reading “St. Charles, Illinois | Your Guide to Restaurants and Family Fun”

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