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.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Weekend at Florida's Myakka River State Park

Great park for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and canoeing/kayaking. There are three campground loops, 6 primitive campgrounds, a group campground and cabins.

We stay at the same campsite as it has full hook-ups, gravel base, privacy, and plenty of shade.  Our little unit can hide back in the shady corner of the site.

This park boasts the first public treetop trail in North America.  The walk way is 85' long and is suspended 25' high for a great view of life in the treetops.

The tower rises to a height of 74' for a great view of the surrounding area. At the top is an observation deck with a telescope.

The walkway is a suspension bridge so the park limits the number of people to 4 at a time and a warning sign advises to walk out of sync with one another in the prescribed direction to minimize oscillation.

Nice walk through the treetops.

The walk through the tree tops provides interesting views of trees we could before only look up to from the ground.  Here ferns and air plants grow in the crevices of the oak tree's bark.

The view from the top allows a view of the parks treetops, wetlands, and the prairie/hammock interface.

A view looking up the tower from the ground level.

The Myakka River and Clay Gully form Upper Myakka Lake.  On the north end is a long boardwalk into the lake for sighting birds and alligators.

The lake is large and provides a habitat for a lot of fish and alligators and fisherman.

Busy dragonfly.

We saw several Great Egrets among the reeds at the lake and on the river.

The first I've seen a Little Blue Heron.  Sparkles in the sun.

And, here's the one we are all familiar with; a Great Blue Heron.

At the south end of the lake is a concession building with food, mementos, camping needs, etc, and a nice shaded public picnic area.  From there, one can take an airboat ride around the lake area to see the wildlife from a different angle or rent canoes and kayaks to travel the lake and river.  To see the most alligators in one spot one can arrange a ranger-guided tour to The Deep Hole south of the Lower Myakka Lake.

Something to think about while you are off on the boat ride or kayaking the river.  Vultures are a protected bird, by the way.  Your car is at their mercy.

Leaving the lake heading toward the Canopy Walkway there is a small turnout where  people stop and park to enjoy the calm of the river.  

 Some take photos, some write or read, some just relax.

Across the river at this point is a large section of plains.

 The bloom of the Common Buttonbush seen along the river shore.  Fascinating.

Driving further the river passes under the road.  Fishing from the bridge is common.  Downstream a person casts a net.

 Don't have to tell this guy how to fish.

A pair of Anhinga keep a wary eye on the gator.  Don't think the gator is not keeping an eye on the two Anhinga.

A view of the river from the trail that follows the river as it meanders south to Lower Myakka Lake and Deep Hole.

Along the trail further south.

There are 39 miles of trails for hiking, biking and equestrian. In some cases trails are shared.  Following are some scenes from the trails.

Hmm. Someone didn't think much of the No Bikes sign on this trail.

And then there were some visitors to our site.


Well, not a visitor to the site really.

And finally....

The park has 6 rustic cabins.  They all require a short walk from the parking area, but unless it rains it's not bad.

Besides the open picnic area at the lake area, near the cabins is a community hall complete with fireplace and equipment to cook in it.  There are two open wings for gatherings and the back yard has several grills and tables.

There is also a small museum as some Florida State Parks have.  Dioramas, a small aquarium and videos about the park and its history.

One of the dioramas housing many of the creatures found in the park.