The official blog of the Lung Institute.
While exercising when you have a chronic lung disease like pulmonary fibrosis, COPD, emphysema or chronic bronchitis may be challenging, gentle exercise can improve your lung function, increase your exercise tolerance and better your overall quality of life. Whether you’re a Tampa local or you’re in town for cellular therapy at the Lung Institute, we’ve compiled the best Tampa walking trails to help you enjoy the Florida sunshine with gentle exercise.
What are the best Tampa walking trails?
While there are many nature parks, board walks and trails all over Florida, we narrowed our search to find the easiest, most gentle, paved, wheelchair accessible and best trails for people living with health conditions like chronic lung disease. Because all of the parks listed are wheelchair accessible, these trails will be good choices for those with mobility impairments. Our top three choices are the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail and the Flatwoods Park Trail. Remember your sunscreen, hat and water bottles, so you’re prepared for your walk.
Upper Tampa Bay Trail
One of the best Tampa walking trails is the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, which is considered an urban trail and provides a scenic escape from the city. Winding through suburban areas on an unused railroad corridor, the Upper Tampa Bay trail extends along the west bank of the drainage canal, Channel A. On another part of the trail from the Peterson Park trailhead, the trail runs through a rural landscape past grazing cattle, sheep and other livestock. Once it reaches Ehrlich Road, the trail goes through another suburban area past local eateries. If you decide to continue walking, you’ll cross over Gunn Highway on a pedestrian bridge, which takes you from the railroad corridor to the Channel A waterway path. Lined with cypress trees and vegetation, you might forget that busy roads are nearby.
Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail
Another unique urban pathway is the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail. Part of the Pinellas Trail, which stretches from St. Petersburg, Florida to Tarpon Springs, Florida, the Pinellas Trail connects several county parks, coastal areas and communities. With multiple access points, mile markers and parking areas, this trail is a popular destination. This trail has dozens of pedestrian bridges with both scenic and urban views. If you reach community of Dunedin, which is filled with local shops and restaurants, you may also want to take a short detour over to the Gulf of Mexico only two blocks away to dip your toes in the warm Gulf waters and soft sandy beach.
Flatwoods Park Trail
Shared by joggers, cyclists and walkers, the Flatwoods Park Trail offers a view of Florida’s natural scenery along a wooded, paved trail. Like all of the trails listed, the Flatwoods Park Trail is wheelchair accessible. You can walk as much or as little of this seven-mile paved loop as you want. Be sure to bring your camera because with an abundance of wildlife calling the Flatwoods Park home, you could see native animals such as armadillo, turtles, hawks, deer and others.
How can I contact the Lung Institute to learn more about treatment options?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our article about the best Tampa walking trails and that you feel ready to come visit Tampa, Florida. With a variety of parks, trails and coastal communities, you’re sure to find the walking trail that’s right for you. If you have a chronic lung disease and would like more information about cellular therapy options at the Lung Institute, feel free to contact us at (800) 729-3065. We’re happy to answer your questions and look forward to hearing from you soon.