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Walking Club: Exploring E.G. Simmons Conservation Park

Walking Club: Exploring E.G. Simmons Conservation Park
Posted at 11:25 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 07:10:56-04

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.

If you’re looking for a fun family outing this weekend, consider visiting E.G. Simmons Conservation Park! There are plenty of things to do inside the park that will keep the kids entertained for the whole day.

Where is it?

E.G. Simmons Conservation Park is in southern Hillsborough County. Put this address in your phone before you hit the road:

2401 19th Ave NW
Ruskin, FL 33570

It costs $2 per vehicle to get in.

What is there to do?

E.G. Simmons is a 260-acre park on Tampa Bay. Because of its size and layout, it’s a good idea to decide what you want to do before you park your car. Ask for some advice as you enter the park and check out this park map.

“Tell them what you’re looking for and they’ll give you some direction,” said Chris Foster, Park Supervisor at E.G. Simmons Conservation Park.

If you’re looking for the beach, you’ll want to veer left. It reopened in early May after being closed because of the pandemic.

Foster says it’s a great place for families to hang out. The water only gets to be about two to four feet deep. Dogs are not allowed on the beach. You’ll also find one of two playgrounds there.

There is a half-mile walking trail that begins on one side of the beach. Consider doing it a couple of times to get your steps in. There are places along the trail where you can get closer to the water.

The boat launch is another big draw. You’ll have to pay $5 to use it.

Shelters are available for reservation, but you’ll find plenty of places at the park to sit down and relax.

If you can’t get enough, you can spend the night at one of more than 100 campsites.

Paddling E.G. Simmons

Kayaking is really popular at the park. You can bring your own or rent a kayak. It costs 25 dollars for up to four hours.

There is a paddling trail that winds around the park. It takes about 90 minutes to complete. Markers will help guide you.

“It goes through the mangrove swamp area here so it’s mostly shallow water, very calm,” said Foster.

If you're lucky, you'll spot dolphins, as well as other wildlife.

When should I visit?

E.G. Simmons is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the spring and summer. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the fall and winter.

Join Walking Club!

Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming #WalkingClub stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!

You can also keep up with Sarah on Instagram and Twitter