HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – Colorfully dressed robbers with parrots on their shoulders descend on Hillsborough County every year, but Gasparilla isn’t the only entertainment option featuring invaders from the sea.
Hillsborough County’s Hiking with a Viking features park rangers and members of a volunteer historical re-enactment group focusing on the Viking era. Together, the rangers and costumed marauders lead hikers through a Hillsborough County conservation park.
On the journey, the Viking guides teach hikers about the Vikings’ lifestyle, skills and crafts, weapons and combat, and their appreciation of and dependence on nature.
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The County and Wyrd Vikings, Inc. are offering the following Hiking with a Viking events, all from 9-11:30 a.m.:
- Dec. 10: Edward Medard Conservation Park, 6140 Turkey Creek Rd., Plant City, FL 33567
- Jan. 14: Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park, 8001 Double Branch Rd., Tampa, FL 33635
- Feb 4: Edward Medard Conservation Park, 6140 Turkey Creek Rd., Plant City, FL 33567
- March 4: Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park, 8001 Double Branch Rd., Tampa, FL 33635
The Dec. 10 Hiking with a Viking reached capacity almost as soon as it was announced, and the other Viking hikes are expected to fill up quickly as well. Registration is underway for Jan. 14 at Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park; registration has not yet been opened for the Feb. 4 or March 4 events.
Hiking with a Viking is held in conjunction with Hillsborough County’s Hiking Spree. The Hiking Spree encourages people to exercise, explore the outdoors, and experience nature through the County’s parks and preserves. This year’s trail list features 24 parks throughout the county. Register for the Hiking Spree, and complete at least eight of the hikes on the list before March 31, 2023 to earn a patch or medallion.