What's In Your Backyard?

Golden Aster Scrub Nature Preserve

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At just 2.9 miles from the house, this is an excellent place to get away from the hustle & bustle of the overly crowded Riverview! Spent a couple of hours out there yesterday (with a 30# pack) and didn't see a single person till I got back to the truck. The trails are super wide and made of sad or grass. All the grass was cut low and when you get to the deep sandy areas, just walk to the side and it's packed tight. There are two lakes, and two ponds, I am sure in the early morning or late evening this place would be teaming with wildlife! I took the alternate trail on the west to one of the little ponds and that kept me in more shade than the main route up the middle. The larger lake is very cool and very much in the trees. Lots and lots of trees. With the side tracks cut, it's not difficult to stay on the trail. However, there is lots of different signage; I fond Orange & Yellow Blazes, round & square arrows and square hiker icon signs posted just about everywhere. However, if you do get lost, just head for I75 and turn left at the fence, you'll eventually make it back to your truck.

An Armadillo playing on the trail.
An Armadillo playing on the trail.

Sneaking up on an Armadillo

360 Golden Aster Lake
360 Golden Aster Lake

Aerial Drone View

The funny thing is when I first moved here a little over a year ago, I needed to shoot a couple of outdoor products, and I asked a friend if there were any wooded areas with a bit of water within 10 miles or so and that was publicly accessible. Other than the residential playgrounds, he was not aware of any. Mind you he grew up here. Since then, I have found nearly a dozen parks, preserves, and open spaces, most all under 5 miles from the house. It just goes to show you that most folks don't pay too much attention to what is in their own backyard!

Local Trails in and around Tampa

Chris Sgaraglino

Over the past 37 years of my adult life, I have gained a very diverse portfolio of adventures from which I have been blessed to be a participant. This wealth of experience and knowledge has defined my character, my morals and values, and my healthy respect for people and the great outdoors. It is a true definition of an Outdoorsman!