Many of us are looking for ways to be 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 the Tampa Bay.
Eureka Springs Conservation Park is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for an easy hike that’s full of beauty. It’s the only botanical garden in the Hillsborough County park system. This quick escape won’t disappoint!
Where is it?
Eureka Springs Conservation Park is north of I-4, between I-75 and U.S. 301, next to Tampa Executive Airport.
Parking costs $2 per vehicle.
What’s the history?
Albert Greensburg established the park in the 1930s. He donated the botanical garden to Hillsborough County in the 1960s.
“Since then it’s been a huge hotspot for walking, looking at plants and even wildlife viewing, there’s also lots of birds here,” said Rebecca Winch, Environmental Lands Management Technician with Hillsborough County Conservation and Environmental Lands Management.
What is there to do?
The park spans about 30 acres. Visitors will find a third of a mile boardwalk and a nature trail.
You’ll likely occasionally hear the whir of nearby planes taking off and landing at Tampa Executive Airport.
“It is pretty close to an airport, but honestly with the fountains and the movement of the wind in the trees, you still feel like you’re in nature the entire time,” said Winch.
Walkers can also check out a greenhouse on the grounds. It’s open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“You’ll see absolutely amazing orchids, there’s some really cool ferns that I’ve never seen anywhere else and some vines that are still flowering even though it’s wintertime,” said Winch.
When should I visit?
The park is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s open Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m to 6 p.m.
It’s not very highly trafficked, especially in the mornings, so enjoy the peace and quiet!
Bikes are not allowed. Pets are allowed, but must be leashed.
Get involved in Walking Club!
Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming #WalkingClub stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!