Hillsborough River State Park–Monday–January 14, 2013

We have stayed here a number of times in the last couple of years.  We were not sure we would like our reserved site, #52.  However, now that we are here…it is the best site we’ve had and would reserve it again!!  Plenty of room between sites and our walk to the boat launch is a piece of cake:o))

Site 52                                                                  Side and Back YardSite 52  Site 52 - back yard


We arrived here on Friday after an easy drive from Silver River, near Ocala.  Arriving on a Friday means you arrive the same time as all the “Weekend Warriors” ;0((  On Saturday, we went for a hike and avoided kayaking due to all the weekenders heading out on the river.  The weather has been spectacular, sunny with highs in the low 80’s!!!  It doesn’t get any better than this:o))

   02b - River Rapids Trail - Prayer of the Woods  01 - River Rapids Trail - Entrance    Entrance to the River Rapids Trails 


Views Along the Trail

(click on any photo to enlarge)

02d - River Rapids Trail - River Kayak  02e- River Rapids Trail - Rapids  04 - River Rapids Trail - Cypress Knees

On our way back to the campsite, Nancy took a few park pictures.

The campground sits at the back of a two mile one-way loop road.

Great place to walk or bike!!

06 - State Park - Loop Road and Bike Lane 

Large Pool and Gorgeous Stone Picnic Tables

06b - State Park - Swimming Pool  06c - State Park - Picnic Table

We saw a lot of tent campers and some really different style of tents.

One Potato…                                       Two Potato…                                    Three Potato….

10c - Campground - Tent  10a - Campground - Tent  10b - Campground - Tent


Sunday, we got up early and rode 10 miles on our bikes.  It is an easy ride around the park loop road and we were early enough to enjoy the quiet!  When we got done riding, I cleaned up the bikes and Nancy worked on the blog as we watched the weekenders leave…one by one!!  After lunch, we decided would be a good time to kayak the Hillsborough River.

The river was higher than a year ago, when we got hung up a couple times on some rocks.  This year… just an easy paddle and no shallow areas:o))  Paddling this river is more about the beauty than the wildlife.  We did see a few birds and some alligators.

Great Blue Heron                                     Green Heron                                             Limpkin

04 - Kayak Trip - Bird - Great Blue Heron 04b - Kayak Trip - Bird - Green Heron 04b - Kayak Trip - Bird - Limpkin

More Alligators…  Yes, we’re in Florida;o))

03 - Kayak Trip - Animal - Alligator 4  03 - Kayak Trip - Animal - Alligator 303 - Kayak Trip - Animal - Alligator 5  03 - Kayak Trip - Animal - Alligator

The wildlife is neat, but this paddle really is about the beauty of the river. 

At times, we felt like we were paddling down the Amazon or the Nile. 

We just love the quiet with just the sounds of nature!!!

01 - Kayak Trip - River Views  01c - Kayak Trip - River Views 

01b - Kayak Trip - River Views

01d - Kayak Trip - River Views 01e - Kayak Trip - River Views

I paddled as quietly as possible. 

Much of the time we just floated along enjoying the beauty.

We saw the most amazing reflections and colors!!

02e - Kayak Trip - Reflections 02 - Kayak Trip - Reflections 02b - Kayak Trip - Reflections 02c - Kayak Trip - Reflections02d - Kayak Trip - Reflections

It doesn’t get much better than this!!!

Just before we launched our kayak, we met a couple, Mark and Ruth, who were our camping neighbors last year.  It was so good to see them.  They are very active 70+ Rvers who pull a 21 foot travel trailer and a canoe.  Really nice people who have been to Alaska several times…need to pick their brains;o))

00e - Things in the campground - Mark and Ruth 

Today, Monday the 14th, we did our usual morning powerwalk, got breakfast and then decided to hike the Baynard Trail.  This is a short trail through the woods.

00 - Baynard Trail - Bridge to trail 01 - Baynard Trail Bill on the trail 01c - Baynard Trail - along the trail    05 - Baynard Trail - Zebra Longwing Butterfly  01b - Baynard Trail - along the trail  04 - Baynard Trail - Cardinal

The rest of the day, we just chilled. 

We both sat outside in the screen room and just enjoyed this beautiful day!!

See, we are learning to slow down a bit;o))


  1. Looks like a great park, have it on our list for the future!

  2. So, are Sea Eagles guaranteed against gator teeth? I'll let you go first to test it out.

    1. Oh come on Paul, where's your spirit of adventure;o)))

  3. Absolutely beautiful reflection pictures. Lovely site too! Glad you are enjoying your time in Florida.

  4. Looks like a wonderful day in Florida! Enjoy your days!

  5. What gorgeous pictures from your paddle Nancy. Sounds just like my kind of day. Thanks for sharing it. I agree that your site looks better than the ones we had last year.

  6. Beautiful pictures...loved the reflections. Looks like you're enjoying your Florida days!

  7. You guys are making me homesick. Love HR state park.