We have something for everyone this year, from the intrepid trekker to the cultural enthusiast.
We will also celebrate the success of our counties in preserving lands and bringing them to the people; the counties of the Tampa Bay area are rich with parks and preserves. The paths in Alderman Ford Park wind along the Alafia river, and the Lettuce Lake Park boardwalk takes you to a shallow lake within the Hillsborough River popular for its ancient cypresses and limpkins. The Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve embraces its watershed, and is managed for threatened plants and animals such as the hooded pitcher plant, southern pine lily, and gopher tortoise. Upper Tampa Bay Park features coastal and near coastal ecosystems including nicely managed flatwoods, coastal hammock, salt marshes, and mangrove swamps.
Up in Hernando County, Cypress Lakes Preserve has lakes of many kinds, but it is remarkable for the diversity of its natural communities, and its efforts to manage its uplands of scrub and scrubby flatwoods.
Image Sources (in order of appearance) and Useful Links:
Green Swamp - Jim Philips
Hillsborough River State Park
Upper Tampa Bay Park
Cypress Lakes Preserve - Mark Hutchinson
Circle Bar Ranch Preserve - Sandra Friend
Little Manatee River South Fork Track Scrub Restoration Map - FNPS
Florida Golden Aster - Craig Huegel
Werner-Boyce Trail Map
Bok Rare Plant Garden