Friday, December 24, 2021

12/24 Hiking in Myakka State Park, FL

Over our Christmas break, Nina and I visited my parents down in Florida. As we enjoyed the warmer weather, we wanted to get some fresh air and explore the local area so we decided to spend the day at nearby Myakka State Park! This park is known for their wildlife including water birds and alligators. I don't care much for water birds but I'm all for seeing some alligators! 

As soon as we entered the park, there was a bridge covering the first bend in the river. It didn't take long for us to spot a bunch of large alligators. It's tough to judge the size of these beasts especially in the water but my dad educated the group that the number of inches between the nostrils and eyes is the total length of the gator in feet. We judged some of these gators were 8-9 feet long and probably weighed hundreds of pounds. Needless to say, we didn't jump in for a swim.

After we stopped for lunch at their cafĂ©, we pushed on to see what else the park had to offer. They had a nice, secluded hiking trail that offered us the typical Florida wetland scenery. Very different from what Nina and I are used to in the desert! Partially down the trail, we came across two towers with a suspension bridge across the middle. The taller of the two towers was 74 feet high and the bridge was 85 feet long. The height of this tower put us above the tree line giving us a great view of the total area. This helped us realize how truly secluded we were. I'd hate to get lost here! 

After our hike, we got back in the car to head out. We stopped at the river again to see how our gators were doing. A few of them were swimming around but a majority were on the shore sunning. We kept our distance and headed out! Definitely a memorable experience. 

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