A couple of weeks ago a few of us rode our bikes to beautiful Hillsborough River State Park to do some camping as part of the Swift Campout solstice world-wide bike camping event. We started the ride at sunrise in downtown St. Pete, crossed the bay over Gandy bridge and into Tampa where we attempted, as much as possible, to follow the meandering Hillsborough River all the way to the park. Yes, it was hot and humid, but when all was said and pedaled, we rode about 130 miles, had a ton of fun, gobbled up panniers full of tasty snacks, dipped our toes and cooled our heads in the river at some gorgeous riverside parks, said hi to some deer, and pitched our tents for a well deserved rest at one of the most beautiful green places in all of Tampa Bay.
If you’re looking for a way to break out of your car-work-home-bar routine, rides like these are a great way to have a micro adventure without spending a lot of money on an elaborate vacation. You might discover new roads and gain new perspective about yourself and the place you call home. If that sounds like something you might like to do, then Hillsborough River State park might just be the ticket. We highly recommend it!
Below are some of the photos taken on our ride. We hope you enjoy them and if you feel inspired don’t hesitate to contact the co-op for more information on our route or bike camping in general. We’ll be happy to talk to you!
We’re on our way!
Sunrise over Gandy bridge.
Did someone say wool and waxed canvas?
Ben likes to keep his snacks where he can see them.
Brad’s bike and Brad.
Riding a section of the recently completed Tampa Riverwalk.
Riverside rest stop at Riverhills park.
Admiring the view.
Shaddy roads make for happy riders.
A gorgeous gravel road by Flatwoods Park.
The bike will get you there.
Brad in the grass.
Nice ride through Flatwoods park.
Misty park entrance. We made it!
Our campsite at first sunlight.
Gift store bounty. That alligator brass badge is amazing.
Ready to roll back.
Leaving the park.
Miles of pretty country roads around Lake Thonotosassa.
Beer time! Almost home.
Back in St. Pete. Nothing like a good meal after a long day’s ride.