Find the REAL Florida at Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve
The Alafia River Park and the Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve Trails Display the REAL Florida. The Alafia River Nature Preserve Corridor is a 9.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Plant City, Florida that features beautiful wild flowers, unusual tree formations, and changing landscapes that is good for all skill levels. The trail offers several activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
From the described parking area, the Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve Trail as a single-track, winding through a heavily forested section. This trail will be marked Trail 2. Eventually Trail 2 opens to an old sanded road. Various trails, all marked by numbers, wind through the area. During the wet season, several sections of the trails could require a bit of wading.
Hiking the Alafia River Corridor trail was a complete surprise to say the least. This trail offers some REAL Florida hiking! The entrance is true to the location shown on Google Maps. It is just north of Alderman’s Ford Park on the right when heading north. It appears to be the entrance for baseball fields, but the woods to the north reveal a Hillsborough County park sign. It indicated the land was dog friendly as well, which was great for hiking with furry friends.
The corridor hike began somewhat constrained on a narrow trail through the woods then crossing the Alafia River. After about 30 minutes, the trail opened to a field with options to explore numerous paths. There was plenty of space to get lost for a while. Signage was ok, but the trail was true to the SWFWM map for the area.
On the trail you may view a lot of wildlife, including a black snake (yikes!) , rabbit, two armadillos, four turtles, a deer, and four boars. Pretty amazing, though admittedly startling.
The trail offered a wide variety of wildflowers and butterflies galore!
And right next door to the Alafia River Corridor is the Alafia River State Park-Alderman Ford Park. Here you will find two trails that are very manageable with clean restrooms in multiple locations. One is mostly shaded and shows beautiful forest scenes at every turn and short (one mile) and moderate.
The other trail is mostly paved so it would be partially handicap accessible and it is an easy trail that is just under two miles. This trail features many special views of the Alafia River. On both of the trails, you will find lots of flowers and butterflies, a possible a Cardinal and Blue Jay, bass, catfish and speckled trout! These trails are more frequently traveled so wildlife sightings are more of a challenge unless you make an early morning trip or go into the primitive camping area off the paved trail.
Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve Trail is located at 9102 County Rd 39, Plant City, FL 33567. This location of the Alafia River State Park is next door at the Alafia River State Park on Alderman Ford Park Dr, Plant City, FL 33567
See the entire gallery of images for the Alafia River Park and the Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve Trails here
Photos and Content Provided by Heather Miller
Alafia River is a special place and it really reflects the REAL Florida and it is located right here in the Destination Tampa Bay area. For other REAL Florida locations to check out consider one of these stories: