Sure, it gets hot as heck in Tampa. That doesn’t mean you have to barricade yourself indoors, though. There are some great parks nearby that offer plenty of shade, allowing you to better enjoy the outdoors even during a hot summer afternoon.
If you feel like taking a walk through a beautiful garden or enjoying a shaded boardwalk that’ll guide you through a forest of ferns and gorgeous cypress trees, this park is a great option for you.
Want to take a peaceful stroll on a boardwalk through a gorgeous cypress swamp? Head to John Chestnut. There’s lots to explore and usually some wildlife out and about. And, there are beautiful views out to Lake Tarpon.
This nature preserve offers a fairly well-shaded boardwalk thanks to the canopy of oaks and other trees along the trail. Plus, peacocks roam the property, and the park is home to injured raptors. They live next to the educational center, so don’t forget to stop by and check them out.
A boardwalk along the Hillsborough River provides pretty views and ample opportunities to spot some wildlife. Some parts of the trail are more shaded than others but regardless of which part of the boardwalk you are on, you are never far away from a covered sitting area or pavilion. So, there’s always a shaded space to rest at nearby.
The Rapids Trail is one of my favorite trails year-round. Big oaks and cypress trees provide shade, and the Hillsborough River offers stunning views. Of course, the rapids are awesome, as well. If you visit this park to take a shaded stroll, you’ll likely want to avoid the Wetlands Trail. That part of the park isn’t shaded at all.
What to Know Before You go:
+ Eureka Springs and Lettuce Lake are both county parks and require $2.00 USD per vehicle to enter. Hillsborough River State Park costs $6 USD per vehicle to enter.
+ Even though these parks offer shaded areas to enjoy, they can still get hot and be sunny in some spots. This means you’ll want to be prepared with plenty of drinking water and SPF.
+ It’s Florida, so bringing bug spray with you is never a bad idea. This is particularly a wise decision if visiting any of these parks early in the morning or at dusk.
Get in Touch
If you decide to visit any of these parks, let me know which one you went to and how you liked it! Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.