THIS is what the Deep South is all about! Forget about the touristy beaches and overpriced theme parks - places like this are where you will find the true beauty of Florida!
The website is detailed, the staff is friendly and helpful, the equipment is high quality (no cheap aluminum canoes!), the rates are reasonable, and most of all, the beauty of the Hillsborough River is unsurpassed.
If you're looking for fast water, you won't find it here; this is a flat water trip (though the river does have a nice steady current). What you will find is a secluded, peaceful, swamp-like paddle on a blackwater river shaded by tall cypress trees draped with Spanish moss and teaming with wildlife. Nearly every kind of bird found in the Deep South you will see here, along with turtles, deer, and possibly snakes and otters. And yes, you will see alligators; and no, they will not attack you - provided you don't threaten or harass them.
We took trip 4, which is Seargent Park to Trout Creek Park. Unlike many others, I personally enjoyed the second section even more than the first. For those looking to see alligators and other wildlife, we actually saw more on this section of the river than on the first. Also, those who take out after section one will miss the section of river passing through Nature's Classroom, which would be a shame - it is beautiful there.
Those who complain about the fallen trees and the presence of alligators should remember that this is a true nature experience, not a controlled, make-believe environment in a theme park. As long as there are hurricanes in Florida, there will be fallen trees on rivers such as the Hillsborough. Although the Hillsborough has no rapids to negotiate, it does have a steady current, many bends, and the aforementioned fallen trees to paddle around or underneath, so those who are unfamiliar with basic paddling strokes may want to go with an experienced paddler the first time out, or at least take a lesson.
Don't miss a chance to paddle the Hillsborough. Paddlers and nature lovers, put this on your life list!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.