Have Your Own Guide with a Hiking Spree Audio Tour
If an audio tour plays in the forest and you're there, will you hear it? You will if you download the new Hillsborough FL Nature Tours app. Residents can now take a guided tour of Hillsborough County nature preserves and conservation parks, courtesy of their cellphone.
Have you ever been on a hike and wondered about that geologic formation in front of you, or why that dead tree is still standing? The audio tour may just answer your questions. The app includes maps of the conservation parks and nature preserves and uses GPS to show visitors where they are. As a person approaches a specific area, the app brings up photos and an audio tour explaining what the parkgoer is seeing. At Lettuce Lake Conservation Park, for example, the app includes photos and information from eight points in the park, giving visitors details about everything from alligators and the park's observation tower to roseate spoonbills and the ancient cypress trees throughout the park.
Hillsborough County Conservation & Environmental Lands Management staff was inspired to create the app during the pandemic when parks and preserves were open, but there were no in-person programs offered.
The team has created the first audio tours for 14 of the County's most popular nature preserves and conservation parks. The Hillsborough FL Nature Tours app outlines each park's popular features and amenities and describes the flora, fauna, and points of interest specific to each property.
Residents have three ways they can use the audio tours: Download the app for free from your device's app store and listen to each stop, use the QR code on the signs at each site, or go to the drop-down menu in the app for photos and text. The last example is particularly useful for those who are deaf or hearing-impaired.
Audio tour locations
The parks and preserves with audio tours include the following:
- Alafia River Corridor South Nature Preserve
- Alderman's Ford Conservation Park
- Apollo Beach Nature Preserve
- Bahia Beach Nature Preserve
- Bell Creek Nature Preserve
- Blackwater Creek Nature Preserve
- Edward Medard Conservation Park
- Golden Aster Scrub Nature Preserve
- Lake Frances Nature Preserve
- Lake Park Conservation Park
- Lettuce Lake Conservation Park
- Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve
- Triple Creek Nature Preserve
- Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park
To read more stories about Hillsborough County conservation parks and preserves, subscribe to The Trailblazer newsletter.
Photo Information: For a more personal experience, look for signs like this when hiking in any of 14 conservation parks and nature preserves that offer the guided audio tours.