From Canopy at Citrus Park, it couldn’t be easier to hop on one of the coolest urban trails in Tampa. The Upper Tampa Bay Trail is accessible just across the Veterans Expressway and offers miles of fun for joggers, bikers, hikers, and bird watchers. While you’re out enjoying the trail, keep your eyes peeled for these five fun Tampa sights.
Rocky Creek Trails Nature Preserve
One of the loveliest parts of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail is the abundance of trees and nature you’ll see as you wind through residential Hillsborough County. Much of the trail offers shade from a tree canopy, and the trail also leads you directly to the Rocky Creek Trails Nature Preserve. Definitely worth a stop, this quick little trail offers the chance to see a scenic boardwalk, beautiful ferns, and fluttering butterflies.
Peterson Road Park
At the north end of the trail, you’ll come to Peterson Road Park, the perfect midday stop. Bring along a packed lunch to enjoy on the lawn or at the picnic tables. Hoop it up at the basketball court before turning around and continuing your trail adventure.
Historic Tampa Gulf Coast Railway Trestle
Looking for that old railroad site you’ve heard friends and neighbors mention? Check it out next on your Tampa sightseeing extravaganza. The trail itself has been built over a portion of the abandoned Tampa Gulf Coast Railway – which operated until the late 1960s – and the bridge that crosses over Rocky Creek is an abandoned trestle from the historic railroad. This hidden gem is the perfect way to dip into a little local history while you’re out stretching your legs.
Birds, Birds, Birds
From limpkins to chickadees to tufted titmice – Tampa offers awesome bird watching, and the Upper Tampa Bay Trail leads you to several great spots for posting up and breaking out the binoculars. You’ll find plenty of benches and restrooms along the route, so you can enjoy a full day out in nature. Grab your checklist from the Tampa Audubon Society and get birding!
Big Cat Rescue
As you’re walking, jogging, sprinting, or strolling, listen for the faint sound of a melodious voice calling out… “Hey, all you cool cats and kittens!” Big Cat Rescue of Tiger King fame lies just to the west of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail between Citrus Park Drive and Gardner Road. Whether you make a stop or just chuckle as you pass – this hit of 2020 nostalgia will make your day on the trail a little brighter.
For tips on fun sightseeing and ways to stay active in Tampa, check out the Canopy at Citrus Park blog.