A tidal estuary with extensive salt marshes, the Hillsborough runs from Crystal Springs to the City of Tampa's Rowlett Park. Because of the length, and huge variations along the route of the Hillsborough River, the paddling trips have been separated into four sections: the North, Seventeen Runs, Middle and South Sections. The scenic North section is short and well suited for beginner paddlers. The river's headwaters begin here as a slow-moving sheet flow through a heavily vegetated riverine forest with no discernible channel. The Seventeen Runs section is a very rugged and narrow section of river that is not maintained and should only be attempted by experienced paddlers. The Middle section is suited for beginner to intermediate paddlers, with some portages possible. The South section is rated for intermediate paddlers because of its length and the possibility of winds and motorboat traffic. Due to its scenic qualities and accessibility, the Hillsborough River is a designated Florida paddling trail.