Posted: 8:58 am Sunday, January 28th, 2018
By Ann Kelly
The Hillsborough County Hiking Spree has led me to some beautiful parks, some interesting ones…and then there’s Cockroach Bay Preserve. It was a new one to me but that’s what the Hiking Spree is all about. Discovering those parks right in your neighborhood that you’ve always meant to visit and discovering those you weren’t aware of. So off I went across the Sunshine Skyway bridge, up 75, off on 41 and up to Cockroach Bay Preserve, and as part of that the Aquatic Preserve. This particular trail is rated as a Class C, primitive trail with a 2, or moderate trail rating. But the most interesting part of it was Mount Cockroach. Really! It happens to have one of the coolest panoramic views of both Tampa and St Petersburg and on my trip of a prescribed burn. Not close enough to end my walk a good reminder of wildfire season and being proactive.
I would like to take a kayak through the Aquatic Preserve sometime to get a view of the plethora a birds that call it home. The Cockroach Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project was a 20 year effort to restore some 500 acres of wetlands, uplands and coastal habitats and was completed in 2012. Preserving what nature has blessed up with is important to Hillsborough County and I’d encourage you to take a look at more of this important work.
So to date I’ve had a wonderful time checking out Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve, Alderman’s Ford Conservation Park, Branchton Neighborhood Park, Cockroach Bay Nature Preserve, Edward Medard Conservation Park, Eureka Springs Conservation Park, Lettuce Lake Conservation Park, Lithia Springs Conservation Park, and Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park. To complete the Hiking Spree you’re asked to complete a minimum of eight trails between now and March 31st. With our cooler weather it’s a joy to be out and make a few new friends along the way, get some great pictures and find there’s a great deal to Hillsborough County Parks we can still learn about. I’m not done yet, keep an eye out for more Ann-Ventures on the Hillsborough County Hiking Spree!