Because land and water are forever linked, the District and other agencies and governments purchase conservation lands. These lands may serve as natural buffers that filter out polluted runoff before it reaches a water body. They also may provide an opportunity to preserve or restore native Florida ecosystems that provide water resources benefits and water storage during hurricanes and other major storm events.


A number of publicly-owned tracts of land protect the Hillsborough River watershed and provide ample recreational opportunities. You’ve already been introduced to the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve, which contains one of the largest premier contiguous recreation areas in Hillsborough County. Another popular site is the Hillsborough River State Park. The park includes 2,990 acres including a location to see Class II rapids on the river! Did you know there were Class II rapids in Florida?


The river is popular among canoers and kayakers. While paddling down the river, you may pass wading birds, turtles, lilies, cypress swamps and more. Watch out for alligators!