Visiting Florida's state parks and beyond in our Roadtrek. This is how we saw it all. Hopefully, the posts will give you some useful information. Questions and comments are welcome.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Weekend At Florida's Lake Griffin State Park

A small but very well maintained park.  The attraction here is the fifth largest live oak tree in Florida, and kayaking and fishing in the canal, Dead River and Lake Griffin.  No cabins, boardwalks or bridges at this park.

The loop road is sand & gravel, but is well maintained.  It was being scraped as we drove to our site.

The sites vary in size and are all pretty level with varying degrees of shade and privacy.  We are in the smallest site which was very level and pretty private.  Great for a B Class.

Looking toward the park entrance from the site.

The only official hiking trail as far as I saw is this half mile loop trail to the marina and day visitor park, then back to the main entrance road about a hundred feet to the right.  Easy leisure hike.

If the half mile is just too much, there is a bench half way before continuing. 

Mother Nature provides a little art. 

There is a short trail to the giant oak.  You can lengthen the trail if you continue past the oak to the highway, parallel the highway for a little way, then return to the trail entrance by the ranger station.  But, it is mainly a path to the oak.

This is the fifth largest oak on record in Florida.  It's diameter is 10 feet, it is 83 feet tall and has a 131 foot diameter canopy. A couple of the branches actually bend down and rest on the ground. 

Once sought after by shipbuilders live oaks now provide shelter for several animal species as well as a place of attachment for various air plants, mosses and ferns. 

The park has a large playground area with picnic tables and a covered pavilion.  Plenty of room for families and groups.  

At the canal there is a boat launch, rental kayaks/canoes and a dock for fishing and getting on board a small pontoon boat that the rangers take visitors out to Lake Griffin for a nature lecture.  

The end of the canal.  Good for fishing off the dock or launching your own kayak or canoe. 

The canal also provides wild life for visitors without water transportation to see.    

Searching for a meal among the cypress knees in the canal. 

Kayakers head out of the canal to the Dead River.  Then, on to Lake Griffin.

We were at the park in mixed weather.  One day was cool and dreary with a bit of rain.  The next morning it as 33 degrees and partially sunny.  The third day it was tee shirt and shorts by noon.  The campfire on the second evening was welcome.

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