For the most part, central Florida is more or less flat. That's not the case in Alafia River State Park, however, which sits on the site of a reclaimed phosphate mine and features some of Florida's largest changes in elevation. It's a hugely popular park with mountain bikers, but the inclusion of a pet-friendly campground means it's also a good choice for animal lovers planning a vacation with their pooch!
With approximately 20 miles of bike trails suitable for beginners through to advanced riders, Alafia River State Park boasts an impressive reputation as a mountain biking hotspot. But if you're not a rider, there are over 20 miles of hiking trails shared with horseback riders. Even better, 7.8 miles of the easy mountain bike trails are also available for hiking.
The park is also a popular haunt for keen birdwatchers, with numerous and varied species on offer at different times of year. Canoeing and fishing are also available on the South Prong of the Alafia River, which flows through the park, while picnic pavilions and a playground are also provided.
If you're staying the night, you'll find the pet-friendly campground tucked away on the conifer-lined shore of Lake Alafia. There are 30 family campsites for tents, pick-up campers, trailers, and motorhomes, while 12 of the campsites feature accommodations for equestrian campers.
Park entry fees are $5 per vehicle. Pets are welcome at Alafia River State Park as long as they are kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash. They must also be well-behaved and under your control at all times, and you'll need to clean up after your furry friend whenever necessary.
Other than that, all you have to do is enjoy yourself! Alafia River State Park is a grrr-eat spot for a pet-friendly weekend away, and because it's located just 10 miles southeast of Tampa, it's easy to get to all year round.