December 11, 2016
Talk about a transformation! This trip went through a million changes before it finally happened and it still didn’t go as we had planned when we left the house! Originally we were going to spend the weekend in Tampa, state park all day Saturday and then go to the Saints/Bucs game on Sunday. Due to me overlooking a very important dinner party, we altered those plans to do all those things in one day.
On our way to Werner–Boyce Salt Springs, we spotted a sign for Hillsborough River State Park which was not on the list of parks to see that day. It was so close we just had to make a detour to check it out; best decision ever! We got to the park & started walking the regular path when the person with me spotted something cool so we veered off in that direction. We walked over an awesome suspension bridge, stopping to admire the beauty of the water and moving along with the flow of the river, being guided by mother nature. She was like a wild animal jumping off the trail to go down by the river, standing right on the edge. I soon followed as slow as a turtle, trying not to face plant on to the riverbank!
We stayed in that park for HOURS! We explored, laughed, talked and laughed some more. At one point I think mother nature shifted the trails because we got a little ‘confused’ before finding our way to the car. In that confusion we were led to the biggest Cypress tree I had ever seen and another really cool suspension bridge leading to a whole other side of the park. This was going on my favorites list for sure and I will be back to do some further exploring. We needed to press on so we headed to the car to Werner-Boyce Salt Springs. Let me just tell you, some parks are easier to find then others. We hiked a trail but it did not lead us to a salt spring at all. We consulted the book and found two more entrances, continuing our salt spring search; mission failed! In defeat we pressed on to find Anclote Key Preserve, that mission was a failure as well! That is a long story but just know you can only access it by boat.
Off to Honeymoon Island we went! It was the last stop and close to the stadium. We were going to jump on the ferry to Caladesi Island but time would not allow that adventure so I will have to revisit that park at a later date. Honeymoon Island was very beautiful. I could have spent many hours there, playing on the rocks, frolicking on the shore, swinging on the wooden swings, and even putting my feet in the crystal clear water! It was getting close to kick-off so we had to leave. Another successful day of discovering some pretty amazing state parks!