We have some lovely neighbors at the Crossings at Riverview, including the city of Tampa, the Manatee Viewing Center, and Tampa Bay. Just twenty-five minutes to the southeast, we also have Alafia River State Park. Previously a phosphate mine, the reclaimed land of this beautiful park includes unique topography and hosts a variety of wildlife. Off-road bicyclists adore its radical elevation changes, and horseback riders enjoy the 20 miles of equestrian trails. If you’ve never visited this lovely nature reserve, we encourage you to add it to your list of goals for the new year.
Exploring Alafia River State Park
Donated to the State of Florida in 1996 by Cytec Industries, Alafia River State Park is made up of 6,344 acres. As we mentioned, it was once a phosphate mine. It was named Lonesome Mine after a nearby community, Fort Lonesome, which gained its name from a Frontier Outpost of the U.S. Army that occupied the land in the Third Seminole War. Unsurprisingly, the park has come a long way since then!
It’s open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. until sundown. People of all ages enjoy the park’s many amenities and activities:
Nature & Hiking
You can view wildlife throughout the park, including on all the trails. So as you stroll around the lakes, through the hardwood forests, and into the rolling hills, be sure to keep your binoculars handy. Bird-watchers will find many feathered friends worth pointing out, and photographers will adore the abundant wildlife. Hike through the forests and flatwoods or sit beside a serene lake to take in the natural beauty.
Picnics & Playgrounds
Looking for a peaceful place to picnic? Head to Alafia River State Park for a picnic with a view. To ensure people of all ability levels can enjoy picnicking at the park, there are also ADA-accessible picnic shelters and restroom facilities. Your children and grandchildren will also love the playground and horseshoe pits.
Fishing & Canoeing
Anglers can enjoy fishing on the park’s numerous lakes. What can you expect to catch? Bass, bluegill, and catfish are all common. If you are 16 years or older, you must obtain a fishing license for freshwater fishing (available on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website) before fishing at the park.
If you have a canoe or kayak, feel free to bring it to the lake for some fun on the water. The park does not offer canoe rentals.
Alafia River State Park is a popular place for mountain bikers in the area, as it offers a variety of challenging trails. Bike rentals are available. In addition, horseback riders are encouraged to ride the trails, which travel around lakes, over hills, and through woods.
Finally, the 30-site campground at Alafia River State Park is well equipped for overnight stays. It has the following features:
- Water access
- 50 amp electrical service
- Independent dump station
- Restroom facilities with showers
- Primitive camping available
- RV camping available
- Pets welcome (They must be confined, leashed, and under control at all times.)
Review the park’s full list of rules if you’re interested in camping in the park.
Everyone can benefit from a little time spent relaxing, exercising, or socializing in a park. If you’ve never explored Alafia River State Park, why not pay a visit this winter while the weather is mild and pleasant?
And if you’re looking for a place to retire near Tampa, Florida, contact the Crossings at Riverview. Our welcoming community provides peace of mind for families and their loved ones by offering assisted living, respite care, and memory care services. Tour our community, meet our friendly staff, and see our amenities first-hand. Our beautiful facility sits on 12 acres overlooking the Alafia River. That setting provides a relaxing atmosphere, and our talented team has a commitment to cultivating a welcoming and vibrant community. Our goal is to make our community feel like home for all of our residents. To schedule a tour, contact us online. We look forward to meeting you!