We had a chance to speak with Park Manager, Coy Helms about camping Alafia River State Park, popular activities in the park and the best attractions in the area. Read below for some great insights in to Alafia River State Park.
Coy’s Favorite Thing To Do In The Park
He would picnic and walk some of the trails. If coming in with a Mountain Bike he would ride the trails.
Coy’s Favorite Campsites
He would stay in site 2 or site 3 because it is close to Lonesome Lake.
Get To Know Alafia River State Park
When was Alafia River State Park founded? How did it start?
Alafia River State Park is a former phosphate mine. The reclaimed mine altered the landscape and created new landforms such as several small lakes and steep grades popular with off-road bicyclists who enjoy challenging trails. A bottomland forest bordering the South Prong of the Alafia River was protected from mining. This prong of the river is a blackwater stream. The park’s 6,312 acres were donated to the State in 1996 by Cytec Industries. The mine was called Lonesome Mine, named after the nearby community of Fort Lonesome.
What are the most popular activities in the park?
Camping at our 30 site campground, Horseback Riding on our 20 miles of trails and Mountain Biking on 18 miles of various trails.
Where is Alafia River State Park located? What are some other attractions in the area worth checking out?
Alafia River State Park is located 10 miles southeast of Tampa on County Road 39. From the South take I-75 North to exit 240 and go east on State Road 674. Continue on State Road 674 for approximately 15 miles and turn left at the flashing light onto County Road 39. Continue for approximately five miles, the main park entrance will be on the right.
From the North take I-75 South to exit 257 and go east on State Road 60. Continue to County Road 640 (Lithia Pinecrest Road) and go right. Go 11 miles and turn right at County Road 39. Continue to the park entrance on left.
From I-4 take exit 22 onto Park Road. Follow Park Road for approximately 2.5 miles. Bear right onto 39B and turn left onto State Road 39 (James Redman Parkway). Continue on state for approximately 15.2 miles to the main park entrance on the left.
Other Attractions in the area include: Bush Gardens, Adventure Island, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, The Florida Aquarium and Manatee Viewing Center.
Which one of those is your favorite?
The Florida Aquarium is probably my favorite to visit.
What type of campsites does the park have? Are the more open or secluded?
We have 30 full facility campsites for tents, RV’s and equestrians. All sites are 20/30/50/ amp electric service, water hook up, picnic table and fire ring. The sites are mostly open because it is a newer park but there are trees on some of the sites.