Myakka River State Park

The Florida state park system is vast. You can enjoy beautiful scenery and a plethora of wild animals as well as beautiful lakes and Gulf beaches throughout the Florida parks.

The Myakka River State Park does not disappoint. Myakka River, Florida’s first state-designated wild and scenic river, flows through a vast expanse of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands that make up Myakka River State Park. Boating, fishing, canoeing and kayaking are popular activities on the water while hikers and bicyclists explore miles of trails and backroads.

Among the already mentioned features, the Myakka River State Park includes a Canopy Walk. You can walk across a bridge suspended in the trees. At the end of the canopy walk is a lookout tower. From the top you can view the horizon above the tree line for miles in any direction. Below is a 360 video where you can experience a fully immersive experience of walking across the Canopy Walk. Hit play and use your mouse or turn your phone to be a part of the canopy walk experience.

The opportunity to see wildlife while at the park is always present. Alligators are plentiful. Although you may have to look harder during the wet season. One of the best places to observe gators is at the Deep Hole. The park limits the number of people who can visit the Deep Hole every day. If this is your objective, you will have to get to the park early. The park opens at 8am. The ranger stated the permits to the Deep Hole are usually gone by 8:10. It is a 2.2 mile hike into the area.

We rented kayaks. We were able to see plenty of alligators from our kayaks. Kayak and canoe rental is $20 for the first hour and $5 per hour after that. The people at the rental place were awesome and very liberal with our time in the kayaks.

Myakka River State Park is also popular with bird watchers. Myakka’s 37,000-plus acres provide wonderful habitat for wading birds, raptors, songbirds, migratory birds, and ducks. Whether you are a professional or amateur, you won’t be disappointed. 

There is plenty of camping at the park.

The park features three campgrounds with 90 campsites. Each site is equipped with 50-amp electrical service, water, a fire ring and picnic table. The sites in Palmetto Ridge also have sewer hook-ups. A dump station is located near Old Prairie Campground. Laundry facilities are available to all campers in Old Prairie and Palmetto Ridge campgrounds. All campsites are located within 40 yards of restroom facilities with hot showers.

There are six primitive campgrounds (Mossy Hammock, Bee Island, Honore, Panther Point, Oak Grove and Prairie) located along the hiking trails for backpackers. These rustic settings provide campers with a fire pit and post to hang items. Each campground has three campsites, and a maximum of four people may be on each site. Only Bee Island, Oak Grove and Prairie have water pumps. Water at these sites is not potable; it requires boiling/chemical treatment. Other sites do not have water; you must bring your own. The terrain is primarily prairie, and dehydration is possible even on the coolest days. 


Circle B Bar Reserve 12.28.2020

The Circle B Bar Reserve is an amazing place where one can experience a wide variety of wildlife. The grounds host miles of walking trails through woodlands and marsh areas. Here are some photos and a short video of a male Anhinga eating a fish.

Anhingas always stab their fish to catch them. They are very skilled at removing the fish from their bill. They will lower the fish and then whip their head upward to fling and dislodge the fish from their bill. The fish flies directly upward, and then when the fish descends, the anhinga catches it in its mouth. If the toss is not perfect, the anhinga will bat the fish up into the air until the fish is in the right position.

Male Anhinga Swallowing a Fish.

Below is a photo gallery of the birds, reptiles and animals we viewed on our visit to the Circle B today.

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Alligators At Lake Apopka 12.12.2020

Lake Apopka is a wildlife wonder. The drive through experience will offer you a chance to view birds and alligators. The drive will take you a minimum of an hour and a half to complete. The experience can easily take a half of a day to complete. Bring food and water. Please bring out all wrappers and bottles you bring in.

Various other walking trails available to visitors offer the experience of seeing other wild animals. Here are photos of the alligators we saw on our visit this day.