Exploring Tampa: New Tampa Nature Park

Opened in 2012, the New Tampa Nature Park is a small, secluded nature trail that connects to the much longer Flatwoods Nature Trail in Tampa.

Finding the nature park is a little bit of a journey. The park is located off of Bruce B. Downs BLVD and down a smaller road called Dona Michelle Road. As you approach the park, you will see a large water treatment facility and a small road off to the right side of it that looks almost like a service road, but there is a large sign pointing to the park. The road is quite narrow but doable. The parking at the park is very limited and also very close quarters, so keep that in mind (no large RVs can make it back there).

The park itself is pretty simple. There is a small spot for a picnic, a rope climbing spot and a zip line that are perfect for kids. There is only a port-a-potty and no water station so if you are going for a hike, picnic, or bike ride, bring your own food and beverage. The trail itself is fairly short, only about a half mile or so (one way) and it connects into the Flatwoods park, which is part of the bigger 7-mile loop system within the Hillsborough River nature reserve.

The short trail is paved and covered well with shade from the trees. I didn’t spot any wildlife this round aside from signs of hogs, which are common in Florida, so always keep that in mind when you are walking (especially with kids).

Overall the park is nice, very quaint, but the hiking portion is quite short and can be knocked out in less than an hour. If you are just wanting to find a different way to connect to Flatwoods, this could be an option (parking is free) but it’s not the easiest to get to and the limited parking makes it hard to use on a weekend.

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