Park information

Hillsborough County founded the Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park in 1982 to provide a protected area for nature study and passive recreation. The 596-acre peninsular park also protects valuable coastal habitat and ecological communities that include mangrove forests, salt marshes, freshwater marshes, coastal hammocks, and pine flatwoods.

The Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park offers an abundance of wildlife and other ecological treasures for any devoted nature lover. Visitors can take a hike on nature trails and boardwalks and see gopher tortoises, zebra swallowtail butterflies, and even bobcats. They can also check out the shallow fresh water ponds that provide habitat for aquatic plants and animals. Live oaks and other hardwood trees often grow near these wetlands, where red shouldered hawks and bald eagles are sometimes seen. The shoreline and waters attract park wildlife and many other species, including roseate spoonbills, ospreys, otters, bottle nosed dolphins, and manatees.

But the fun doesn’t stop with the nature walks. The park’s canoe/kayak launch provides access to the creek and bay, which are excellent places for game fish, including red drum and snook. And while adults can relax and have lunch at the picnic shelters and tables, children can enjoy the park’s centrally located playground. The park also has a nature center which not only contains interpretive exhibits that describe the park environment, history, and geology, but also live animal displays that houses fish, snakes, and turtles.

Park and boat ramp passes

You can purchase regularly priced park and boat ramp passes at the following administrative offices or conservation parks:

Free and discounted passes

We offer annual park and boat ramp passes for free or at a discount to eligible disabled veterans and active duty members or honorably discharged Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves

  • Free passes - Disabled Veterans
  • 25 percent discount - Active duty members or honorably discharged Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves

To receive a free or discounted pass, you must bring your required documentation to either our Branchton or Bell Creek administrative offices. Free and discounted passes are not available at the above listed conservation parks.

For more information about all of our passes and to find eligibility requirements visit our Conservation Parks and Boat Launch Passes page.

Canoeing and kayaking

Canoes and kayaks can be rented on site at the park's entry station. 

Rentals & Fees

  • Local rental (one park) for up to four hours: $25
    • Hourly fee for each additional hour: $10

      *Fees include tax

Youth group camping

If you are affiliated with a non-profit, 501(c) youth group, the Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park has sites available for camping. The sites feature potable water, picnic tables and fire pits, and can accommodate groups as small as 12 to as large as 50 for only $2 per person, per night.

Last Modified: 5/31/2024, 4:17:11 PM