Hiking Hillsborough River State Park’s Seminole Trail

Thursday January 21st 2021

Today began a little warmer than the last few days, but it still took a long time to get the inside temperature into the comfort zone. Outside the temperature peaked in the mid seventies around 4PM.

This afternoon I hiked the Seminole trail on the far side of the Hillsborough River from the state park’s campground. It is a 3.2 mile loop trail that follows the river for the first third or so of its length. The trail is labeled “moderate” because it goes up and down a few twenty foot slopes with lots of exposed roots. It really isn’t very difficult. The worst part of the trail is the mud. If the water level was any higher some areas would be impassable. With the current water level the ground in some areas was wet and slippery, but not squishy. The sides of my shoes did not come in contact with the mud.

The walk along the river was pleasant. Other than squirrels the only wildlife I saw was one shy turtle. It jumped off a log into the water before I could turn on my camera. I wanted to see a gator or two taking the sun, but the trail didn’t pass close to any of the areas I know they frequent and I didn’t spot any others. The last two thirds of the loop hike is well inland of the river. There are many signs of animals digging along the trail, but I imagine that is at night.

The trail begins a good distance away from my campsite. I’d guess it is about a mile and a half. Some of the distance is the result of hurricane Irma three plus years ago. The bridge nearest the trail head was damaged and hasn’t been repaired. It is necessary to go further up river to the suspension bridge. When combined with the length of the trail, I walked around six miles on my afternoon hike. There were only a few other people on the trial. Most of the time it was a nice walk with only the sounds of the forest. The kayakers on the river made more noise than the other hikers.

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