WIMAUMA, Fla. — Just a short drive from the UF research office in Wimauma is one of south Hillsborough County's hidden gems.
The Balm Boyette Scrub Nature Preserve is more than 5,000 acres of pristine Florida wildlife.
It's best known for its mountain biking trails but plenty of people come out to trail run, walk dogs and bird watch.
There are 25 miles of trails in the preserve.
Part of the property was formerly mined for phosphate, so the terrain is much different than your typical Florida trails.
"This is a unique situation where the phosphate mining, this was done prior to the requirement that now when you mine you have to put things back the way they were you, have to put all the topsoil back. They left the pits here and so the trails actually have terrain unique to Florida. You're not going to find it in many other spots," Danielle Ivey, Environmental Lands Management Coordinator said.
Helmets are required if you're mountain biking and make sure you have water. There are no water fountains on the property.