Upper Tampa Bay Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

Widely regarded as Tampa Bay's best urban trail, the Upper Tampa Bay Trail provides a scenic escape from its congested surroundings. The original section winds through suburban Citrus Park on an unused railroad corridor and extends along the west bank of the Channel A waterway, a drainage canal.

From the Peterson Park trailhead, the first mile leads through a rural landscape past grazing cattle, sheep and other livestock. At Ehrlich Road the scene waxes suburban, and interesting local eateries tempt you with their fare. Next, you're transported over busy Gunn Highway on a beautifully constructed pedestrian bridge, a good example of Florida's investment in its local trails.

The route then diverts from the original railroad corridor and takes a sharp right along the Channel A waterway, lined with native vegetation and beautiful cypress trees. You'll soon cross a lovely wooden bridge over peaceful Rocky Creek.

Continue following the west bank to the Waters Avenue trailhead, which offers plenty of parking, restroom facilities and an information center. This is a good spot to begin a trek or take a break. Beyond, the trail crosses Waters Avenue and parallels Memorial Highway to the westernmost trailhead.

On its southern end, there are plans to connect the Upper Tampa Bay Trail with the Town-n-Country Greenway.

On its northern end, a 4.3-mile extension is underway, which will take the rail-trail to Keystone Park and Austin Davis Public Library in the community of Odessa and along the western edge of the Brooker Creek Headwaters Nature Preserve. From there, the paved trail will follow Lutz Lake Fern Road to a connection with the scenic 42-mile Suncoast Trail. This new section is anticipated to be completed by summer 2015.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Peterson Park trailhead from downtown Tampa, take Veterans Expressway north to Exit 10/Ehrlich Road, head west 1 mile and turn right on Gunn Highway. Drive 1 mile north on Gunn Highway and turn right on Peterson Road. The trailhead is in the park.

To reach the Memorial Highway trailhead, take Veterans Expressway north to Exit 4/Hillsborough Avenue West/Route 580. Drive west 5 miles and turn right on Countryway Boulevard. After 0.5 mile, turn right on Memorial Highway. The trailhead is on the left.

Reviews

Roomer of partial bridge opening on weekends only

   March, 2015 by monarchman

Roomer has it (not officially confirmed) that they will try, as construction and safety permits, to open a narrow passing lane via the gates on either side of the bridge on weekends only when the construction crew is not present. No guarantee on this, ...read more

Bridge Repair Update!

   March, 2015 by clay121

I rode the trail today and talked with the ranger. The ranger said the repair may be completed by the end of April. But there was no guarantee that will happen. This is sad because the repair has been going on for at least four months. Once completed ...read more

Rocky Creek Bridge Repair

   March, 2015 by gbrown264

Rode the trail on March 13. Rocky Creek bridge remains under repair. Believe it has been under repair for over a month. read more