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.
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!
Sometimes Bryce would just have to make his own trail!
There were a few areas where the trail passed through a marsh, and the trail elevated to a boardwalk.
There weren’t a lot of birds there, but we spotted a few herons.
The trees were loaded with air plants!
Trying to get a nice scenic shot can be challenging with Bryce around . . .
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!!
At the end of the nature trail, we reached the Canopy Walk.
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.
The bridge takes you up into the trees, but not quite above the canopy . . . and it moves quite a bit!
Who put that tree branch there!!??
We reached the other end, and climbed the other tower to get a panoramic view of the park.
Bryce looks like he’s watching for pirates!! LOL
After our walk through the woods, we drove out to the lake, to the “birdwalk”.
There weren’t many birds to be found, but we spotted a few . . .
(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.
Besides the few birds, we saw several alligators cooling off in the water.
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,
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!
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!
There were even a few canoes on the river,
and this guy was keeping a close eye on them!
It was a nice day, and it felt great to get out and do some hiking for a change!