TAMPA, Fla. - Hillsborough County's smallest conservation park offers a unique look at what old Florida used to look like.
"You kind of feel like you're transported through time when you go back through there," shared Chris Kiddy, Hillsborough County's outreach coordinator for conservation land management. "You got to think, this is what Florida used to look like."
The park is an out-of-the-way haven from the rush and bustle of I-4 to the south, I-75 to the east and the Tampa Executive Airport to the north.
The plot of land was given to the county in 1967 after botanist Albert Greensburg donated his 31-acre botanical garden site to the county.
"He collected rare tropical plants," said Kiddy. "It has a lot of his original plants in there."
Those tropical flowers and ferns create a lush paradise as the county created a leisurely walking path through the gardens.
Of those unusual plants, Kiddy said visitors will find, "Lot's of different textures and flowers, and just a lot of stuff you don't really see."
And while Greensburg was the benefactor, the park is named for the small natural spring that feeds the waterway that meanders through the park.
"It's not a very big spring," noted Kiddy. "If you look very, very closely you see a little bit of water kind of dribbling out of a pond."
Eureka Spring may be small, but Kiddy said the experience is so much more.
"Peacefulness, tranquility and serenity," Kiddy shared. "(There's) something about walking through these gates and you walk into this and kinda all your troubles and worries go away."
Eureka Springs Conservation Park is located just south of Tampa Executive Airport at 6400 Eureka Springs Road. The park is open weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. There is a $2 fee for parking.
Click here for more information about the park.