Parks Near USF Campus | USF Student Guide

Moving to a new town doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up your favorite parks for jogging and nature trails, it just means you need to find new places to explore and make your own. Luckily, there are a ton of great parks near USF, and even on campus! Whether you are looking for a new jogging spot, a place to explore and feel one with nature, or somewhere for your pup to get out some energy and meet new friends near campus, we’ve got you covered.

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Simmons Park

Distance From USF Campus: Located ON CAMPUS!

Located on USF in Central Campus, Simmons Park is situated on a small lake. Enjoy the nature over lunch or add it as a point of interest for your on-campus jog.

Lettuce Lake Park

Distance from USF Campus: 2.5 Miles, 6 Minutes

Situated along the Hillborough River, Lettuce Lake Park protects 240 acres and includes kayaking and trails perfect for hiking, biking or spotting wildlife. The observation tower offers stunning panoramic river views. There is an entrance fee of $2 per car but the views won’t disappoint!

USF Riverfront Park

Distance from USF Campus: 1.6 Miles, 3 Minutes

Across the river from Lettuce Lake Park, USF Riverfront Park offers free entrance with a current student ID. Once in the park, you can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. Be sure to check out the moonlight canoes and the 18-hole disc golf course.

Rowlett Park

Distance from USF Campus: 2.7 Miles, 8 Minutes

From canoe launches and fishing to sports courts and dog parks, this riverside park truly has it all! Two miles of paved trails are perfect for a jog with the pup or a serene nature walk with friends.

Rowlett Dog Park

Distance from USF Campus: 2.7 Miles, 8 Minutes

Part of Rowlett Park, this off-leash dog park features large shade trees, water fountains for fido and most importantly, separate sides for large and small dogs complete with agility equipment.

Copeland Park

Distance from USF Campus:1.6 Miles, 6 Minutes

Made up of more than 130 acres, this park has something for everyone. From basketball to racquetball to tennis, the sports courts are plentiful. But our favorite feature has to be the mile of nature trail that wind through wooded areas and wetlands.


The best off-campus housing near USF offers outdoor amenities that can make you feel like you have Tampa's best parks in your own backyard. If you love the outdoors, be sure to look for apartments that offer amenities like dog parks, open greenspaces, jogging trails, and picnic areas.

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