Many of us are looking for ways to remain active while also staying a safe distance away from others. That's why Sarah Phinney started a ‘Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails and parks across Tampa Bay.
Check out Al Lopez Park in West Tampa with your family this weekend. The popular park has a lot to offer residents and non-residents of Tampa. You’ll find it hard to believe that this gem exists in such a busy part of the city.
Where is it?
You might often be driving by Al Lopez Park without realizing all of the beauty inside. The address is:
There are plenty of options for parking. You’ll see some lots as soon as you enter.
What can I find there?
Al Lopez Park spans about 145 acres, just north of Raymond James Stadium.
There is a 1.2 mile inner paved loop. The path is roughly 15 feet wide, so you’ll have plenty of space to bike, walk or run.
If you want to have a totally different experience, head for the nature trail on the north side of the park.
“In this park proper area, it feels very much like a large neighborhood park. Up in the northern part, it’s almost all woods so it’s like a nature park up there,” said Brad Suder, Superintendent of Planning & Design for City of Tampa Parks and Recreation.
You’ll find a boardwalk that winds through the woods, as well as places to sit along the water and fish. Don’t forget bug spray and water!
In addition to the paved trails, there is also a dog park, playground, shelters, fitness stations and a community center.
In the southwest corner of the park, visitors will find Cancer Survivors Plaza. You can see some of it from W. Dr Martin Luther Jr Blvd and Dale Mabry Highway.
“It’s a really a tribute to the families and survivors of cancer,” said Suder.
When should I visit?
The park is open from sunrise to sunset. The inner loop is lit during dawn and dusk hours. The nature loop is not lit.
The park is often busy, but you will find it to be even more crowded on weekends and during big events.
Join Walking Club!
Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming #WalkingClub stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!