For those who enjoy the great outdoors, no visit to the Plant City area would be complete without a trip to the beautiful Edward Medard Regional Park which is acres owned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District and extends along 1,284 acres. This is located on what was once a phosphate mining site that was later developed in the early seventies – under an agreement with the Hillsborough District County – to become one of its largest and most popular regional parks. This is a particularly favorite for campers as it offers full camping facilities however hikers and fishing lovers also flock to this unique topographical landscape which also has a 700 acre reservoir. This is one of the park’s main attractions and as well as providing the ideal environment for both catch and release fishing – bass fishing in particular is very good here – plus it is also popular for water sports, canoeing and boating activities. Many participants will opt for an overnight stay at one of the park’s 40 campsites, including two group sites and these can hold both RV and more traditional camping accommodation. Each campsite is fully serviced and includes picnic tables, electricity, fire rings and water as well as washing facilities, restrooms, showers and of course Barbeque grills. Pets are allowed and there are playgrounds dotted throughout for the kids.
There are a variety of activities to enjoy on both land and water whether you want to explore on foot one of the numerous hiking paths or take the equestrian trail on horseback. Hike uphill through the pine flat woods and hardwood hammocks until you reach one of the park’s Observation Towers where you can enjoy magnificent aerial views of the surrounding landscape with its rugged beauty and natural splendor. Latest additions to the park include a new disc golf course, a unique venture that has recently opened to the public. While this is similar to the traditional game of golf, where the aim of the game is for participants to complete each whole with the minimum amount of attempts, this version has an unusual twist. In this particular game players must throw specially made plastic flying discs at targets that are above ground instead of hitting balls directly into holes in the ground with the use of golf clubs. This is a fun-filled activity that will keep the whole family entertained however there are other active pursuits for those with plenty of energy left including beach volleyball on a specially designed court as well as kayaking and horse riding.
If you are fortunate enough to have your own boat, then boat ramps are provided around the reservoir area which also offers numerous picnic shelters and a boardwalk for those who prefer to watch the boating activities from dry land. This is a very busy and popular park and despite its vast size, it can be difficult to find a secluded area for peace and quiet especially during the summer months however if you enjoy an action packed break in beautiful surroundings then this is definitely the place for you.