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Posted October 30, 2017 | 9:15 AM

Hiking Spree is Back!

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Oct. 30, 2017) - A thousand people participated in Hillsborough County's inaugural Hiking Spree program last year. Organizers hope to grow the event even more in the second year, which features another set of 20 trails, each with their own challenges and rewards.

The Hiking Spree program encourages people to exercise, explore the outdoors, and experience nature through the County's numerous parks and preserves. This year's trail list features 20 hikes. Complete at least eight between Nov. 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 and earn a patch, or a medallion for a walking stick. One of the hikes can be at a location of the participant's choice that is not on the list.

The trails are designed to offer something for everyone from hiking rookies to seasoned outdoor enthusiasts, with hikes rated from easy to strenuous. Lengths range from less than a mile to more than 4 miles. The environmentally diverse sites are spread throughout the county and include small parks like Eureka Springs Conservation Park, a 31-acre slice of plant-lovers paradise, to large preserves with multiple habitats like the 12,500-acre Lower Green Swamp nature Preserve.

The Hiking Spree is timed to take advantage of the cooler, drier weather and to coincide with prime bird-watching times.

Participants are encouraged to post photos from their hikes using the hashtag #TakeAHikeHC.

For more information and to register, click here.

To receive your annual medallion, bring a completed form to one of the following Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation Centers no later than March 31: All Peoples, Northdale, Roy Haynes, Jackson Springs, Westchase, Ruskin, Gardenville, Brandon, or the offices at Bell Creek Nature Preserve.

To receive by mail, send a completed form with a stamped/self-addressed envelope to: HCPRD Hiking Spree; Bell Creek Regional Park Offices; 10940 McMullen Road, Riverview, FL 33569.

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