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Walking Club: Exploring Lake Conservation Park

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 09:33:46-04

Many of us are looking for ways to be active while also staying socially distanced from others. That’s why Sarah Phinney is starting a ‘Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails across Tampa Bay that are great places for you and your family to check out.

Visit Lake Conservation Park with your family this weekend. The more than 600 acre park, tucked away in the suburbs, has five lakes and plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained.

Where is it?

Lake Conservation Park can be found in the Lutz area. It’s about 25 to 35 minutes north of downtown Tampa, depending on traffic.

Put this address into your GPS before you head out: 17302 N Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33549

Chris Kiddy, program coordinator for Hillsborough County’s conservation environmental lands management department, says it’s rare to find a slice of undeveloped land in this part of the county. Many people don’t even realize the park exists.

“We’re right off of Dale Mabry Avenue so as you’re driving out here you’re going by business after business after business, and then you come to this little oasis out here,” Kiddy said.

What is there to do?

The fitness trail is one of the most popular spots at the park. It’s 1.5 miles long and goes through the woods, with one section on the road within the park. Visitors will find fitness stations along the path that were recently installed. Kiddy says they are sanitized on a regular basis.

If you want to extend your walk or jog, there are other wilderness trails that connect to the main loop. Be prepared to dodge some puddles, especially after storms and during the rainy season.

The fitness trail is far from the only attraction at the park. There’s practically something for everyone.

“You’ve got a BMX track, a horse arena, a RC track, an archery range, equestrian trails, canoe and kayak rentals, fishing,” said Chris Kiddy, program coordinator for Hillsborough County’s conservation environmental lands management department.

For more information about rentals, click here.

What else should I know?

Kiddy recommends that first timers download the map on the county’s website so you can keep track of where everything is at. For a trail map, click here.

The entrance fee is $2 per vehicle. A machine accepts cash or credit if an attendant isn’t there.

Lake Conservation Park is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the spring and summer. It is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the fall and winter. Pets are allowed.

“Come out here and get a taste of old Florida. We’re surrounded by growth and development everywhere and places like this offer you an opportunity to escape, especially with all of the crazy stuff going on in the world right now,” said Kiddy.

Let Sarah know if you visit Lake Conservation Park this weekend. If have an idea for a trail that she should feature, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.