Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Myakka River State Park

Since we were driving up to Venice last Thursday to meet up with our old neighbors, we decided to make a day of it and do a little hiking, too!  We drove a little bit past Venice, to Myakka River State Park.

Nature Trail


According to the website, they had a Visitor Center, Nature Trail, Canopy Walk, scenic drive, several miles of hiking trails and plenty of opportunities for spotting gators and birds!




Thursday ended up being hotter than it was supposed to be, so we didn’t do much serious hiking – just the nature trail and a few other short walks.


After checking out the Visitor Center and watching the short movie about the park, we set out for the Nature Trail and Canopy Walk.



It was a pretty easy trail under the canopy of palm and oak trees, with just a few occasional obstacles!

Easy hike

Will he fit under it?

Sometimes Bryce would just have to make his own trail!

Bryce needs a challenge!

There were a few areas where the trail passed through a marsh, and the trail elevated to a boardwalk.

Through the marsh

There weren’t a lot of birds there, but we spotted a few herons.

Herons in the water

air plants


The trees were loaded with air plants!








Trying to get a nice scenic shot can be challenging with Bryce around . . .

Trying to get a picture of the scenery

for a guy who doesn’t like me to take his picture, he sure does get into a lot of my shots . . .especially when I don’t want him to!! Smile

Bryce-free view

At the end of the nature trail, we reached the Canopy Walk.

Canopy Walk

There are towers at each end of the swinging bridge – we climbed up the first one to get to the canopy walk.     The tower


The bridge has a 3 person capacity, so we had to wait for the people in front of us to reach the other side before we ventured onto the bridge.






Walking across the swinging bridge

The bridge takes you up into the trees, but not quite above the canopy . . . and it moves quite a bit!

The view from the bridge

Who put that tree there?

Who put that tree branch there!!??

We reached the other end, and climbed the other tower to get a panoramic view of the park.

Climbing the tower

Above the canopy

Bryce looks like he’s watching for pirates!! LOL

What are you looking for, Bryce?

After our walk through the woods, we drove out to the lake, to the “birdwalk”.

At the birdwalk

There weren’t many birds to be found, but we spotted a few . . .

Not a lots of birds at the birdwalk












(this is some variety of ibis, but I can’t remember what it is)


we also spotted this guy standing guard in a palm tree . . . I think it’s some type of hawk.

some type of hawk, we think

Besides the few birds, we saw several alligators cooling off in the water.


Another gator










From the birdwalk, we we drove to the south side of the lake where there are concessionaires that offer tram and airboat rides in the park.  We weren’t planning on taking either tour, but we atr out lunch in the nice shaded picnic area.


We saw a little more wildlife here . . . great blue heron,

Great Blue Heron

turtles and alligators,


and this little grey squirrel who really wanted us to share our lunch!


We walked along the river after lunch, where there were plenty of people waiting for boat rides – not on this airboat, though!

Old Airboat

Plenty of canoes for rent, too!



It was almost time for us to head down to Venice, so we drove out, stopping off at the river bridge on our way out . . . there were a few more gators to see!

Myakka River


There were even a few canoes on the river,

Canoes on the river

and this guy was keeping a close eye on them!

Keeping an eye on the canoes











It was a nice day, and it felt great to get out and do some hiking for a change!


  1. Myakka is one of our favorite Florida State Parks. We spent a couple weeks there in January. The hawk in the tree is a Red Shoulder and is there all the time. The Ibis is a Glossy Ibis. There usually are so many birds, but this year the water was so high that the wading birds had no where to wade:o(( Still a wonderful place to visit.

    1. Thanks Nancy! I even looked up the name of the Ibis on the board there, but forgot what it was by the time I wrote the blog! It was a nice park -- would be a nice one to volunteer at, too!

  2. Glad to see you enjoying your hike and that Bryce is still keeping you smiling.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Great post. We are finally free to "roam" also. Hope to see you out and about sometime.


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