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Exploring the Depths: Discover the Wonders of Hillsborough County’s Deepest Lake

The Deepest Lake in Hillsborough County, Florida:

C.W. Bill Young Regional ReservoirWelcome to Hillsborough County, Florida, home to the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, the deepest lake in the county. This article will take you on a journey to discover the wonders of this impressive body of water and the surrounding wildlife.

From the freshwater marshes and Pine Flatwoods to the Tampa Bypass Canal and Alafia River, this area is rich in ecological diversity. So, let’s dive in and explore the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir and its fascinating surroundings.

C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir

Tucked away in Hillsborough County lies the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, an extraordinary lake known for its depth. At 15.5 billion gallons, this reservoir provides a crucial water source for the surrounding communities.

Formerly named the Tampa Bypass Canal, it was renamed to honor C.W. Bill Young, a Florida representative known for his commitment to environmental conservation. The C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir boasts a maximum depth of 35 feet, making it the deepest lake in Hillsborough County.

This depth serves as a refuge for a variety of aquatic life, including largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill. Anglers flock to its waters seeking fishing opportunities and the thrill of catching trophy-sized fish.

Surrounding Land and Water Sources

The C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir is surrounded by a diverse array of ecosystems, including freshwater marshes, Pine Flatwoods, wetlands, scrub, and improved pasture. This variety of habitats supports numerous plant and animal species, ensuring a thriving ecological balance.

The reservoir receives its water from two primary sources: the Tampa Bypass Canal and the Alafia River. The Tampa Bypass Canal plays a crucial role in flood control and water supply management for the region.

The Alafia River, on the other hand, is a scenic waterway that winds its way through forests, providing a natural source of replenishment for the reservoir. Wildlife Surrounding the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir

Alafia River Corridor


Alafia River Corridor, adjacent to the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, is an ecological treasure trove. Lush upland hammocks and hardwood swamps line the river’s banks, hosting a remarkable variety of wildlife.

One notable species found in this area is the Eastern indigo snake, a non-venomous snake renowned for its glossy black color and impressive size. These magnificent creatures are considered a keystone species due to their significant impact on the ecosystem.


Alafia River Corridor is also home to the gopher tortoise, a threatened species known for its distinctive burrows. These burrows provide shelter for a variety of other wildlife, including the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake and the gopher frog.

The American alligator, another iconic Florida resident, can also be spotted along the river’s edge, lurking in the water or sunbathing on the banks.

Chito Branch Reserve

Located near the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, the

Chito Branch Reserve is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. This pristine area offers a great opportunity to observe a wide range of wildlife, including wading birds, gopher tortoises, and fox squirrels.

Wading birds such as herons, egrets, and ibises frequent the reserve’s wetlands, thrilling observers with their graceful movements and vibrant plumage. These birds can often be found hunting for fish or wading in the shallow waters, creating a picturesque scene.

Gopher tortoises, considered a keystone species in Florida, inhabit the

Chito Branch Reserve as well. These ancient reptiles play a vital role in maintaining the ecosystem by creating burrows that provide homes for other animals such as burrowing owls and indigo snakes.

The reserve is also home to fox squirrels, a larger and more colorful species compared to their more common gray squirrel counterparts. Observing these lively squirrels bounding through the trees is a memorable experience for visitors.


In conclusion, the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir and its surrounding areas offer a unique blend of natural beauty and ecological diversity. From the depths of the reservoir to the rich wildlife along the

Alafia River Corridor and the

Chito Branch Reserve, visitors are treated to a truly remarkable experience.

Hillsborough County, Florida, continues to be a haven for both nature enthusiasts and those seeking a deeper understanding of the importance of environmental conservation.

Edward Medard Park

Activities and Facilities at Edward Medard Park

Nestled in the heart of Hillsborough County, Florida, Edward Medard Park is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts. This expansive park offers a multitude of recreational activities for visitors of all ages.

Whether you enjoy boating, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, or even a game of disc golf, Edward Medard Park has something for everyone. If you’re looking to spend a day on the water, the park’s 700-acre reservoir is perfect for boating and fishing.

Bring your own boat or rent one from the designated boat launch area. Spend a leisurely afternoon cruising along the tranquil waters, casting your line, or simply soaking in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

The reservoir is stocked with sunshine bass and channel catfish, providing ample opportunities for anglers to catch their next big fish. For those who prefer to explore on land, Edward Medard Park offers an extensive trail system.

Lace up your hiking boots or hop on your mountain bike and embark on an adventure through the park’s scenic trails. The trails wind through a variety of habitats, including oak hammocks and pine flatwoods, offering breathtaking views along the way.

Keep an eye out for wildlife such as mourning doves, green herons, sandhill cranes, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot a majestic bald eagle soaring through the sky. Edward Medard Park also features a disc golf course, offering a fun and challenging activity for players of all skill levels.

Grab your discs and navigate through the course, aiming for the metal baskets strategically placed throughout the park. This popular sport combines elements of frisbee and golf, providing a unique and enjoyable experience for individuals and groups alike.

After a day of outdoor adventures, take advantage of the park’s amenities and facilities. Enjoy a picnic with friends and family at one of the many shaded picnic shelters, complete with grills for a delicious barbecue.

Children can burn off energy at the playground, while parents relax and unwind in the peaceful surroundings. For a panoramic view of the park, make your way to the observation platform, where you can take in the scenic beauty from an elevated perspective.

Wildlife at Edward Medard Park

Edward Medard Park is not only a recreational paradise but also a haven for wildlife. The diverse habitats found within the park provide a sanctuary for a wide range of animals.

As you explore the trails and navigate the reservoir, keep your eyes peeled for some of the fascinating creatures that call this park home. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the variety of avian species that inhabit Edward Medard Park.

From the mournful cooing of mourning doves to the graceful movements of green herons, these feathered residents add a sense of tranquility to the park’s ambiance. Look up to the skies and witness the impressive wingspan of sandhill cranes as they soar overhead.

With their distinctive calls and elegant demeanor, these majestic birds are a true delight to observe. One of the most remarkable sights at Edward Medard Park is the presence of bald eagles.

These iconic birds of prey have made a resurgence in Florida due to conservation efforts. Keep your eyes peeled for their distinctive white heads and impressive wingspan as they soar through the sky.

Witnessing the grace and power of these magnificent creatures is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Venturing below the water’s surface, Edward Medard Park is also a haven for a variety of fish species.

The reservoir is teeming with sunshine bass, known for their strong fight and delectable flavor. Anglers of all skill levels can test their fishing prowess while enjoying the peaceful serenity of the park.

In addition to birds and fish, Edward Medard Park is also home to a range of terrestrial animals. Encounter skunks and opossums scurrying through the underbrush or spot tortoises leisurely making their way across the landscape.

Snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, also inhabit the park, though they generally prefer to keep their distance from human activity. Visitors are reminded to respect the wildlife and observe from a safe distance.

Things to Do Around the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir

Busch Gardens

Located just a short drive from the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir,

Busch Gardens is a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers and animal lovers alike. This renowned adventure park offers a perfect blend of adrenaline-pumping rollercoasters and close encounters with wildlife.

Busch Gardens is famous for its world-class rollercoasters that cater to riders of all ages and preferences. Whether you’re a fan of high-speed loops or prefer a more gentle ride, there’s something for everyone.

Experience the heart-pounding sensation of twisting and turning on the invigorating Cobra’s Curse or feel the rush of the drop tower ride, Falcon’s Fury. For families with young children, the Sesame Street Safari of Fun provides a range of kid-friendly rides and attractions.

Beyond the thrill rides,

Busch Gardens is also home to a wide array of incredible wildlife. Immerse yourself in the Serengeti Safari, where you can embark on a guided tour through the park’s expansive animal habitat.

Get up close and personal with giraffes, zebras, and other magnificent creatures as you learn about their conservation and biology from experienced guides. If live entertainment is your cup of tea,

Busch Gardens delivers with a variety of shows and concerts.

From acrobatic performances to musical spectacles, there is something for everyone. Be sure to check the park’s schedule to catch the latest live events during your visit.

After an exhilarating day at the park, indulge in some retail therapy or satisfy your appetite at one of the many dining options.

Busch Gardens boasts a vibrant shopping village that offers everything from souvenir shops to boutique stores.

Treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of the park’s restaurants, featuring a range of international cuisines and culinary delights.

American Victory Ship and Museum

For history buffs and maritime enthusiasts, the

American Victory Ship and Museum is a fascinating attraction not to be missed. Docked near the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, this impressive vessel serves as a floating museum, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich maritime heritage of the United States.

Step aboard the American Victory Ship and embark on a self-guided tour through its expansive decks and compartments. Explore the ship’s cargo holds, engine room, and bridge, and gain insight into the daily lives of the crew during World War II and the Korean War.

Discover artifacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits that chronicle the ship’s storied past. For a more immersive experience, opt for a docent-guided tour, where knowledgeable guides provide in-depth information and anecdotes about the ship’s history and operation.

Learn about the vital role the American Victory played in supplying troops during wartime and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced at sea. Special events and programs are frequently held at the

American Victory Ship and Museum, offering visitors a chance to dive deeper into maritime history.

From reenactments and muster drills to educational workshops, these events provide a unique and engaging experience for visitors of all ages. In addition to its historical significance, the

American Victory Ship and Museum also offers breathtaking views of the downtown Tampa skyline as it stands proudly in the Tampa Bay.

Take a moment to reflect on the ship’s enduring legacy and the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who sailed aboard her. Conclusion:

Explore the wonders of Hillsborough County, Florida, beyond the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir.

A visit to Edward Medard Park offers a myriad of outdoor activities and a chance to encounter incredible wildlife. For thrill-seekers and animal lovers,

Busch Gardens provides a rollercoaster ride of excitement and a chance to interact with magnificent creatures.

History buffs can delve into maritime heritage at the

American Victory Ship and Museum. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or cultural enrichment, the attractions around the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir offer endless possibilities for exploration and discovery.

Location of C. W.

Bill Young Regional Reservoir

Overview and Capacity

Situated in Hillsborough County, Florida, the C. W.

Bill Young Regional Reservoir is strategically located to serve as a vital water resource for the surrounding communities. Named after Congressman C.W. Bill Young, this reservoir plays a crucial role in flood control, water supply management, and environmental conservation efforts in the region.

With a capacity of 15.5 billion gallons, the C. W.

Bill Young Regional Reservoir provides a substantial water source for Hillsborough County. This impressive capacity ensures a consistent and reliable supply of fresh water, benefiting both residents and the local ecosystem.

The reservoir collects water from the Alafia River and Hillsborough River, acting as a storage and distribution site for the region. The reservoir’s capacity is carefully managed to balance human needs with the preservation of natural resources.

Water levels are constantly monitored to maintain the delicate ecosystem and ensure sustainable water usage. This management strategy ensures that the reservoir remains a valuable asset for both the present and future generations.

Location on a Map

To appreciate the exact location of the C. W.

Bill Young Regional Reservoir, let us explore its coordinates. Situated at latitude 27.8281 N and longitude 82.1047 W, the reservoir is conveniently located in the Brandon area of Hillsborough County, southeast of Tampa, Florida.

Eager visitors can easily find the C. W.

Bill Young Regional Reservoir using a map or GPS navigation systems. The reservoir is bordered by Sydney Washer Road to the west and Boyette Road to the east.

It is accessible via multiple entry points, including the main entrance off of Boyette Road. Surrounding the reservoir, you will find a host of amenities and facilities for visitors to enjoy.

Edward Medard Park and Nature Preserve, a recreational paradise, can be found to the south of the reservoir. The Alafia River runs along the western border of the reservoir, providing a stunning natural boundary and contributing to the reservoir’s water supply.

For those seeking convenience, the reservoir is located within a short distance from major highways and thoroughfares. Interstate 75 provides easy access from Tampa, Sarasota, and other surrounding cities.

The reservoir’s proximity to Tampa allows for a quick escape into nature, offering a serene and scenic retreat from the bustling urban environment. Whether you are a local resident or a visitor from afar, the C.

W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir’s accessible location ensures that all can appreciate its natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Pack your bags, grab a map, and embark on an adventure to this remarkable reservoir nestled within the charming landscape of Hillsborough County, Florida. Conclusion:

The C.

W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir’s location makes it a central water resource in Hillsborough County, Florida.

With its impressive capacity and strategic placement near the Alafia River and Hillsborough River, the reservoir ensures a consistent and reliable water supply for the region. Its coordinates, latitude 27.8281 N and longitude 82.1047 W, place it in the heart of Hillsborough County, southeast of Tampa.

Easily accessible from major highways and surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, the reservoir offers a tranquil escape for both locals and visitors. So, grab a map and discover the wonders of the C.

W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir.

In conclusion, the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir is the deepest lake in Hillsborough County, Florida, offering a valuable water resource and recreational haven for the community. Its expansive capacity and strategic location near the Alafia River and Hillsborough River ensure a consistent water supply and aid in flood control efforts.

Moreover, the reservoir’s location within close proximity to major highways and surrounded by natural beauty makes it easily accessible for visitors. From outdoor activities at Edward Medard Park to nearby attractions like

Busch Gardens and the

American Victory Ship and Museum, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir is not just a valuable resource; it is a remarkable destination that provides an escape into the wonders of nature.

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