Although most people think that the Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail begins in Tampa near the Whiskey Joe Bar and the Westin Hotel, the trail actually begins at Cypress Point Park. The other day, I decided to explore that end of the trail on one of my “long runs”.
I did go online to try to find a map of the trail. Trail maps are hard to find, but this one is somewhat helpful, though it makes no distinction between on road and off-road trails. The entrance to the park, listed on the park website is an empty lot. The actual entrance is through an office park, rather than at the entrance listed on the park website.
Parking at the trailhead seems adequate, though perhaps it gets crowded on the weekend. This is a pocket park nestled between the Courtney Campbell Causeway and Interstate 275. Though it is encircled by many buildings, once in the park it feels blissfully isolated. It has just a little slice of our lovely Bay with a well-maintained little beach.
One oddity in this park, given recent controversies is an actual monument to a Confederate hero.
Trails through the park allow for perhaps a half mile of beach trail running and then a concrete path through the disc golf course adds another half mile: good for a warmup and some off-road running.
After warming up along the beach trails, I ran out the driveway (no signs here) and headed left on the trail which first hugs the edge of the airport then follows along Florida Route 60.
This trail is part of what will someday be a greenway trail system that traverses Tampa and connects to the surrounding counties. For now, Cypress Point Park is the terminus for the Courtney Campbell Trail in Tampa with the other terminus in Clearwater at the Bayshore Trail.
The Courtney Campbell trail which leads to the causeway is interesting in that it has various levels of protection from the road. From the looks of the various barriers, it doesn’t seem that someone using the trail will actually be hit by a car. Trash and ambience, well that is a different matter.
I suppose that when we develop trails, trash probably isn’t something that we are thinking about. But, it really does matter. Roads generate trash and trash flies onto trails. Sturdy barriers keep out trash and they also keep out noise, thus improving the trail experience.
One hears nary a peep here in this part of the trail near the Hyatt Hotel.
The Cypress Point Park and the nearby trail are well worth a run and in the future I expect to explore further with a bike.