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Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve Trail

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Alderman Ford Park

Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve Trail is a 9.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Plant City, Florida that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 9.9 miles Elevation Gain: 275 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

From the described parking area, the trail begins as a single-track, winding through a heavily forested section. This particular trail will be marked Trail 2. Eventually Trail 2 opens up 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.

12 days ago

I spent a lot of time in my life hiking outdoors so I am quite in tune with checking out Maps and other things. Upon arriving at the parking lot I decided to do the only trail they offered which was the red trail with intent of hiking 4.5 miles. Following signs I eventually found myself at the far end of the hiking trail and all of a sudden trail markers disappeared and got replaced with another color entirely and there was no mention at the parking lot of any other hiking trails. The weird part is I completely missed the red marker to turn and so I backtracked a little bit and I still couldn’t find it. The problem is some of the markers are on trees and other markers are on 2 x 2 posts, many of which have been toppled over. It’s entirely possible that I missed a toppled over post. Trail itself is not contiguous or continuous. It is not uncommon to come up to an intersection and see for different markers for the same trail heading in 4 different directions. Nevertheless follow and markers of the other trail I inevitably found myself back to where I’m supposed to be 3 miles after the fact. All in all 4.5 mile trail turned out to be a 6 mile hike but I don’t complain it was beautiful. I recorded the entire hike with a 360° camera and trail will eventually make its way on Google Maps for others to reference. If you wait a couple of months trail should be uploaded to Google. I intend to come back and do the trail in reverse because I did find the exit of the trail I couldn’t find entrance to. My advice is bring sunscreen And a hat because there’s a lot of places where there is direct sunlight

hiking
bugs
over grown
20 days ago

Hiked this trail today with the pup. Definitely enjoyed it, and it was a nice change from some of the more well-traveled trails. That being said, the trail is a bit overgrown in some areas and you will encounter some extra creepy-crawly bugs along the trail so just keep that in mind. Otherwise, a great trail and we look forward to coming back and exploring a little farther.

Decent trail mostly shaded for the first couple of miles.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Surprisingly fun trail! Some spots with wild flowers and creek views too. We did the full loop plus a little extra on accident and did 12 miles total which wasn’t too bad because it was all flat. If you happen to be in the area definitely recommend. But as a warning this is Florida. Many large types of bugs are about, especially in Summer.

hiking
3 months ago

All Trails indicates mountain biking is an option for this trail, but it is not. The sign at the trail head indicates foot traffic only. But it was a great trail.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

You need to park at the baseball field to access the trail. lots of good trails to choose from once you hike the 2 miles in to the branching part.

hiking
6 months ago

great trail

This is the second time we hiked this trail and it was great! Hillsborough County Parks is doing a park challenge to get people outdoors so this was marked with their markers and they also added logs and a hand cable so we could cross the creek that were not able to cross the last time we hiked this. It is so beautiful and we saw some deer and turtles. Where the the park’s recommended we go right..... we continued in straight instead back to the truck.

hiking
bugs
muddy
washed out
7 months ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this trail just south of Plant City. The start of the trail is near the Pinecrest baseball and softball fields just outside Alderman’s Ford Park but there is still a $2 fee to be paid at the park entrance. Did this one on 7/14/19 after no rain for a couple of days, and though there was some mud in spots, there was only one place it was truly a problem. (There was a little tricky crossing in a marsh during the "loop" portion.) Some of the other reviews talked about there being a lot of water on the trail and I can see that happening if you do this one after a period of heavy or frequent rain.The trail has a good mix of wooded and open areas, and a little bit of uphill/downhill hiking. The bugs were mildly annoying, but not as bad as I expected, and I crossed paths with about 10 deer, but none of the infamous feral pigs or boar. Word of warning: there were no trail maps at the entrance, and there are several places out here where you can take different cross trails to shorten or lengthen the hike. I had no problem since I was using the app, but without it, there could be some confusion. I generally followed the red blazes, which were on trees, with occasional signs on posts. I ended up doing 10.2 miles, but you could easily shorten or lengthen that.

hiking
washed out
Sat Mar 23 2019

Trail was great easy to navigate with the app and well marked. Couldn't do the full loop because a section of swamp? river? grody water made it impassable, but we were still able to talk alternative cut throughs. Ended up with 10 miles of lovely hiking. It's been 5 days since we had any rain and some sections were a bit muddy but had mostly dried up or had alternative routes already cleared. Not bad for today, but probably not the best trail for after rain!

hiking
muddy
Sat Feb 09 2019

2/9/19. We found this trail to be very very nice. It was muddy in some spots and at one point we could not complete the full loop because there was so much water covering the entire trail. After the initial path, the trails were very wide and mostly shaded and well-maintained. The trails were a little confusing at a few points but we had this app which helped. The changes in elevation due to phosphate mining years ago made this a nice change to your typical southwest Florida trails.

hiking
Wed Oct 31 2018

I came to do some Geocaching in the preserve. Once you got off the short access trail from the trailhead by the ballfields, the trails were nice and wide and well maintained. Most trails were numbered but I did not have a map to help me know one trail from another. The elevation change in the area was quite unique for Florida. I later discovered that this area used to be phosphate mines which helped explain the topography. Mostly under tree cover except the north area along the railroad tracks. I did about 10 miles in the park and found it quite enjoyable on a mild October day.

mountain biking
Fri Aug 17 2018

hiking
Sat Jun 02 2018

Trail was very thick in the beginning with a lot of trees and bushes on the trail, however only about 5 minutes in, it opens up. The problem with this trail is rain. About a mile in, you’ll come across a bridge with a river below. Normally this river is fine but whenever it rains it overflows very quickly. The water was right up to the bridge and the rest of the path was flooded. Had to turn back. Looks like a good trail but you should hike it when it hasn’t rained in over a week.

Sat Jun 02 2018

great walk. wet feet. lots of contour, variety, and wildlife. we even saw a corral snake.

hiking
Fri Apr 27 2018

My favorite trail in the Hillsborough County area. Located just north of Alderman Ford Park, sharing a parking lot with the baseball fields, (to the left when you pull into the lot) this is truly a hidden gem of a hike. What more could you ask for in Florida? A varied terrain of hills, scrub and marsh on a wide, well maintained trail. There is a beautiful camp site with a working pitcher pump next to a nice pond. We saw deer, hogs, wood peckers, hawks and a nice size black snake. We hiked 10.5 miles on this trail but you could easily shorten it or extend it with a few added turns. While we were dry the whole trail, I can see this being a wet walk if it was rainy season, so keep that in mind. If you are in the area, don’t miss this one for a true Fla trail experience.

Thu Mar 08 2018

good trail

hiking
Thu Jan 11 2018

Honestly, my favorite trail in this part of Florida. Tons of wildlife, elevation change, and different terrains.

hiking
Sun Jun 18 2017

I had an awesome time hiking the Alafia River Corridor yesterday! Some solid Florida hiking in my opinion. 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 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. I saw a toooon of wildlife, including a black snake, rabbit, two armadillos, four turtles, a deer, and four boar. Pretty amazing, though admittedly startling. Overall, the hike was a solid one! The bugs were manageable; there was plenty of tree cover depending on one's route; tons of open space for a long walk; and well-maintained trails. Just bring plenty of water! There were limited options for filtering.

hiking
Sat Apr 29 2017

Great hike, lots of shade, very quiet, bugs were not bad at all, saw some gopher tortoises. Hiked about 2.5miles in, then turned around and came back. Only reason I give 4 instead of 5 stars is the markings aren't great where there are splits in the trail, so following on a map or GPS helps rather than relying on markings or signs.

hiking
Wed Feb 15 2017

Did 6.21 miles awesome hike! not wet at all.I came in from parking lot trail 2, took trail 4 and looped around and pack to parking lot. spending roughly 2.25 hours. came across 2 large deer.

Thu Sep 29 2016

wonderful trail. bit muddy at the beginning

hiking
Mon Aug 17 2015

This trail was off the beaten path. The mosquitoes were not as bad as expected with the swampy areas surrounding the trail. Would recommend early morning due to part of the path having absolutely no shade. Overall was a nice experience.

Sun Sep 21 2014

Since it's been raining a lot we end up with a pretty short hike! Bummer... The trail is flooded up to the knee and there's no end! We will come back next time!

hiking
Wed Mar 12 2014

Well maintained park with both paved and dirt trails through forest and along the river. The park has plenty of visitors, but there's lots of space so it didn't feel crowded.

hiking
Mon May 06 2013

I loved this trail. Was looking for a half day hike that is more off the beaten path. There are several trails that go off in other directions from this one and would love to go back. Saw one deer, but there were no boars in sight. There were definitely places where you could see where they were digging. There are also several wild orange trees along the trail after you pass through the big open grass field where the gas pipeline is buried. I get what the other hiker was saying about the feelingof being watched. My boyfriend and I got the same feeling. He is the one who first metioned it and I was the only one who read the previous review on this trail so he didn't know that someone else said the same thing. He is also a bigfoot fanatic though, lol :/. Overall, I enjoyed the trail in perfect weather.

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