405 Riverhills Dr.
Temple Terrace, FL 33617
From 56th Street, just north of the Hillsborough River bridge, turn east on Riverhills Drive. Turn right at the 4-way stop, and enter the park at the boat launch area.
This beautiful 34.45-acre park offers access to the Hillsborough River by providing a boat ramp and dock. The land was purchased to protect a rare, undeveloped stretch of shoreline on the Hillsborough River, most of which has been developed with single family home sites long ago. A picnic area set under the cypress and oaks provides picnic tables, grills, gazebo, shelter, and boardwalk that winds along the riverfront. Additional amenities include a large playground area, two newly renovated tennis courts, and restrooms.
After leaving one vehicle at the take-out (Rotary Riverfront Park), we launched and headed to our left (south). Beautiful weather greeted us and remained perfect throughout the 5-hour paddle (we stopped a lot to take photos). A smattering of wildlife accompanied us on the tour, though the absence of Great Blue Herons and White Egrets was apparent to me (Limpkin, Ibis, and Little Blue Herons were the stars of the feathered clan, while baby and adolescent alligator joined a bevy of turtles to represent the wonderful world of water/land creatures).
Traditionally, I research the area of the venue to find a non-chain restaurant to cap the day's events, and the "eats after" this trip were awesome and worthy of promotion...
Antonio's Pasta Grille
11401 North 56th Street - Suite 23
Tampa, FL 33617
Great food, atmosphere, service, and prices! If you're ever in the Temple Terrace area, this is a must - get there between 5:30 and 6p on a Saturday and you'll beat the crowd!