Tampa, FL

An Affordable Tampa Outing: Lettuce Lake Park

Malinda Fusco

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Photo of Lettuce Lake Park from Wikicommons

Lettuce Lake Park is the perfect place for a quick hike, a lunch, or even a canoe trip along the river. It offers many great amenities and views. Let's take a look at the park's features as well as my experiences at Lettice Lake Park. I've been there a few times and quite enjoy it.

Lettuce Lake Park Features and Amenities

Lettuce Lake Park is a conservation and park in Hillsborough county. It has a boardwalk, hiking trails, picnic tables, gazebos, and canoe and kayaking rentals. There are also barbeque grills, a boat dock, restrooms, and a playground. This part has a lot to offer if you're an outdoor enthusiast or hiker especially.

My Experience and Review

When I arrived at Lettuce Lake Park, the payment to get into the park was easy. There was simply a wooden dropbox to put the money inside, so you will need to bring cash. There is no attendant at the entrance, so this is an honor system and they are unable to make change if you don't have single dollar bills or change. I'm assuming the money for the entrance fee goes towards keeping the park in order and clean, so make sure you are able to pay it.

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Screenshot by the author from the Lettuce Lake Park Website

Once in the park, there was a lot of parking available. You can choose to park near the playground and gazebos, picnic tables, or the hiking trails. When I go to Lettuce Lake Park, I usually bring a picnic lunch that I keep in a cooler, which makes the whole experience that much better since we are unable to purchase any food or drinks there (so many sure you bring water). Therefore, I like to park near the picnic tables.

After parking, the trails aren't too far off. You'll want to wear comfortable shoes though, as the trails are not paved (as most hiking trails aren't). There are several trail options ranging from just a few miles to longer. When I go with someone who isn't much of a hiker, I will often start down a trail then turn around and head back once we reach our halfway point. Make sure to bring a camera or your phone as there are lots of great wildlife photo opportunities as well as the natural landscape that will change as you hike.

The park is well kept and there are trash cans located along the way for you to dispose of any trash that you may find or bring. So please keep in mind that if you don't see a trash can right away, one will appear soon enough!

Once you return from your hike, you can claim a picnic table and even a barbeque grill if you've brought food to cook. There are many shelters along the park in case it is a cloudy day, where it might rain. I love to bring some hotdogs in a cooler and grill them at the park. It's the perfect way to finish a hike!

Park Information for You

Entrance Fee: $2 per vehicle

Hours: Spring or Summer 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, Fall or Winter 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Address: 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33602

Website: https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/locations/lettuce-lake-conservation-park

In Conclusion

Lettuce Lake Park is a great place to hike or spend an afternoon in the sun. At just two dollars per vehicle, it's an affordable afternoon out that the entire family will be sure to enjoy.

For COVID, they do specify some rules on their website, so please be sure to check those out. Mainly, when visiting the visitor center, you'll want to be sure to wear a mask and to social distance from other park goers. Make sure to check the weather ahead of time to pick a sunny day for your visit to Lettuce Lake Park!

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