Who says exploring the beauty of Florida's natural landscape has to be leisurely? Some of us like a little action. The mountain biking trails at Alafia River State Park give you the best of both worlds, beauty AND adrenaline.
You'll find this enchanting and exciting nature's gem tucked away in the woods in Lithia, about 50 minutes southeast of Tampa. Alafia State Park was once a phosphate mine, which created radical elevation changes perfect for creating various mountain biking trails that are all gorgeous in a different way.
The biking trails feature a range of difficulty levels from beginner-friendly dips, bridges, and hills to more challenging and adrenaline-pumping tracks on deep downhill descents to give you the momentum needed to clear rivers and ditches.
You might want to sharpen up your mountain biking skills! But don't worry if you don't, this ramp splits off on a high jump to the left or a lower jump to the right.
Of course, mountain biking and catching some serious air off of ramps isn't for everyone. If you prefer a more leisurely approach to nature exploration, Alafia has some prime hiking trails with gorgeous canopied backdrops of tropical Florida Landscape. You can also kayak, boat, and fish the many waterways, or ride horseback through the equestrian trails. Hiking trails are marked with green.
If you want to make it a weekend adventure, feel free to camp out here too. They welcome tent, hammock, and RV camping, which can be reserved online. If you aren't camping, you can explore the various trails of the Florida Forests from 8 a.m. to sundown, 365 days a year — and admission is only $5 per vehicle.
An overview of Alafia River State Park can be seen below. If you're looking for more wild Florida adventures check out a new treetop obstacle course with ziplines near Tampa, or take a 2.5-hour road trip from Orlando to one of the clearest blue springs in the Sunshine State.
ALAFIA RIVER STATE PARK
Price: $5 per vehicle.
Address: 14326 County Rd. 39, Lithia, FL 33547
The Thatcher Road entrance periodically closes due to flooding. If you would like more information, the park office can be reached at 813-672-5320.
Hours: 8 a.m. to sundown, 365 days a year.
Why You Need To Go: Admire the beauty of nature on hiking or biking trails, canopied by the beautiful Florida Forests. Mountain biking here is great for those looking for challenges on jumps and jumps.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.