Take a tour of one of Hillsborough County's most visited parks on this great loop that winds through hardwood swamp forests, hardwood hammocks and pine flatwoods.
Additional park amenities include wooded picnic areas, playgrounds, park ranger and volunteer-led nature education tours on weekends, and canoe and kayaks rentals. For more information, visit the park's website
You have a variety of parking areas and access points to choose from for this loop, but as mapped here, the route starts and ends at the park visitor center. At the first junction take a left onto the Boardwalk Trail
. This wide, well-maintained boardwalk winds through the park's lovely hardwood swamp forests, along a spur of the Hillborough River.
At about 0.5 miles into the run, you'll come to the Observation Tower. You can climb the wooden steps to gain a bird's-eye view of the river and surround forests. Continuing on the boardwalk, you'll eventually connect to a series of natural surface paths. Take the southernmost Hiking Trail
by staying to the right at the junctions.
You'll eventually cross over the main paved Lettuce Lake Parkway road. At a little over one mile into the hike, look for the Cypress Dome Boardwalk
to your left. This short spur trail will take you out to see Cypress Dome--where the impressive cypress trees form a natural arch overhead.
Back on the Hammock Run
trail, you'll wind back around to the northwest to loop back to your start point.