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Alafia Nature Preserve

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info


Jun 2018
 Typical view [?]
Photo Galleries
Typical View (14)

Snapshots! (1)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
How Big Not Rated
Importance Not Rated
Revisit? B
Birding C
Wildlife C *
Summer Heat B *
Terrain B
Fun Hike B
Maintained B
Mosquitos C
Biting Files A
Ticks B
NOTE: Small is a negative but by river is a positive
NOTE: Pretty well shaded.
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 10243 Elbow Bend Rd, Riverview, FL, Hillsborough, USA, 33578

1) What It's Like

Small bit of forest hiking that makes a great break from driving on nearby I75. It's quite small though housing developments spoil it a bit. Not big enough that I'd suggest going here if it wasn't on the way to something else.

2) Kinds of Birds

Typical forest birds. This was definitely more a hike than a birding hot spot but there were birds. Being near a river always helps.

3) Wildlife

Saw none but seemed like you would if you went a few times. Next to rivers you never know what you'll get but I'd assume there are just more urban animals plus I'd assume there are a copule gopher tortoises and snakes in there.

4) Amenities

Very nice parking area and trail head. Gas stations very close.

5) Directions

From I75 exit 93A (just south of Alafia river) head east on Gibsonton Dr. You'll pass a big Racetrack gas station and "The Preserve" (such an evil name) on the left. Turn left on Hagadorn Rd - in fact if you were on foot there's an entrance right on the corner. Your first left is Elbow Bend road and that parking area is right there under the big grey powerline pole on the left.

6) Dear Ranger

Thanks for protecting a fun little forest for us to hike!

7) Time Requirements

You can do a couple loops in there but I did most of it in under an hour. You could stop for 20 minutes and have a nice experience fine.


This is a small little park on the Alafia river that's actually visible from the bridge going over I75. It's parly ruined because some as*h**es bought the land next door and named it "The Preserve" - cute huh? And you get to enjoy looking in on a couple backyards right in the middle of a hike. Visit Fishhawk/lithia trail for similar treatment. That said - if you want to take a break from driving it's convenient and other than some highway noise it is a very nice little bunch of trails. You feel like you're in the woods as opposed to some field that's eventually going to be woods in 30 years. It's mostly live oaks and the kind of forest scrub in that kind of forest. One path is very sandy almost like you stumbled on a piece of the Lake Wales ridge but that is pretty short.

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