The Eagle trail is one of those trails you go to when you need a short, chill ride away from the sun. It’s mostly shaded with a boardwalk and shell rock path. There are also no steep climbs, drops, or hairpin turns, meaning you don’t have to worry about speed. As such, you can cruise along, enjoying the views and sights in the area.
You can also stop for pictures without worrying about accidents, as it’s a multi-purpose trail. The fact that it’s a straight line means you’ll have to reach the end and return to the starting point. However, this shouldn’t be a problem for most mountain bikers, including beginners, given how short it is.
The Eagle trail starts at a kiosk off Upper Tampa Bay conservation park’s Double Branch road. As we mentioned above, it mostly consists of a wide shell rock path that’s typically well-maintained, so you don’t have to worry about mud and slipping. Also, sand live oaks should be on your left just as you get into the trail. Conversely, there’s a section of wet flatwoods on your right.
A little further forward, you should see a freshwater marsh on one of the sides of the trail. There are also benches partway through the trail that you can sit on to enjoy the scenery.
We also noticed that depending on whether it rained recently, you might encounter water flowing across the trail. The trail is also home to some small asters, so you can admire these beautiful flowers if you’re a fan.
Other interesting plants along the way include mangroves and needle rush. Regarding animals, you’ll likely see some mud crabs if you’re willing to look for them. Also, if you’re lucky, you might get to see bald eagles and red-shouldered hawks whizzing past and maybe some gopher turtles.
The trail ends at the Mobbly observation deck, where we got a great view of the bay before turning back. Also, this is one of the few trails where you can hike back, so you might not need to carry your puncture repair kit.
Please keep in mind that an extra fee of $2 is required for parking your vehicle in the Upper Tampa Bay conservation parking lot.
Upper Tampa Bay Park is a scrub preserve, so most of what you’ll see there are plants. The Eagle trail provides several interesting sights and views, especially on the Mobbly observation deck at the end.
We noticed a lot of bugs in the area, especially during the stops. That might be a nuisance, so ensure you carry and use bug repellent.