Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Visit to Myakka

Monday December 24, 2012
Site 6 Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida
High 68  Low 48


The Florida Parks Pass gets its inaugural use.

David and I have camped a couple of times at Myakka River State Park and know Carrie will love seeing it.  It’s not too far away so we drive over and used my pass to go for the afternoon.  I also get another stamp in my passport book.    

What is it about those books and getting them stamped?  I have the National Wildlife Refuges book and the National Parks Book and I just love to get them stamped.

We drive through the first two campgrounds just to give Carrie a look at the differences and they are quite different.  Old Prairie is the older of the two, smaller and more wooded with water and electric.  Palmetto Ridge is the newer, designed more for big rigs, has full hook ups and is more open.  These two campgrounds are located across the park road from each other near the ranger station and the highway.   Big Flats also an older campground is located much further down the park road and nearer the Upper Myakka Lake, the Outpost, the Canopy and Bird walks.  


Our first stop is just beyond the Myakka River Bridge.


Myakka with Carrie (136)


 Myakka with Carrie (129)

Myakka with Carrie (135)


When we originally stop, there are two people on the bridge.  While we are there, there bridge fills up with people and cars.  Where DID they all come from.   It’s like the the buffalo jams in Yellowstone.  One person stops, then everyone has to stop.   Time for us to go.


We drive on to the bird walk.

Having been to Myakka before, I don’t really expect to see many birds in mid afternoon.  In the morning this spot is just covered with birds.


Myakka with Carrie (141)


And there aren’t many except for a giant flock of white pelicans quite a ways off.

Myakka with Carrie (139)


Not sure I’ve ever seen so many white pelicans.  This picture is from a LONG way away as you can tell but I wanted to give some idea of what a big group this was.   We really enjoyed watching them in the binoculars where we could get up really close.


Myakka with Carrie (137)



We have one more site to visit before going on to the canopy walk. 

We drive through the very small Big Flats Campground.  It has water and electric but the dump stations are at the other campgrounds.  Although Big Flats is the most convenient to the things you want to do at Myakka, I think it would be very tricky to get anything larger than a 32 or at most 34’ rig into this small circular campground.  It does have a very cozy feel though.

We drive through it and then over to park in the Outback’s parking lot.  The launch site for the air boat tours, a fishing pier, an ice cream shop, gift shop and general store are all in this complex. 

But we walk by all these.  We are on our way to the historic weir.   I’ve never been here when anyone was paying any attention to this sign even though they have to trip over it to do just what it asks you not to.  I’ve also never seen any park personnel enforcing this. 

Myakka with Carrie (151)

This is the path over to the weir from the Outpost.

Myakka with Carrie (146)


Myakka with Carrie (149) 


The weir turns out to be the site of the day thus far.


The Roseate Spoonbills are here.  I’m wondering if the black vultures are guarding them.





Myakka with Carrie (173)A 


Quite a gathering.

Myakka with Carrie (239)


They were in the water by the dozens and roosting in the trees along with wood storks and black vultures.



Myakka with Carrie (157)

Carrie remarks that she could just stay here all day and watch the various birds and the alligators.  I whole heartedly agree but it is getting late and if we want to have time for the canopy walk before dark, we have to be on our way.


Walking back to the car.  David spies this hawk hiding behind the Spanish Moss in the Live Oak Tree.

Myakka with Carrie (177)


Myakka with Carrie (178)




The path to the canopy walk is part of the park’s very nice Nature Trail which we sadly will not have time to hike today.





Myakka with Carrie (184)




The canopy walk is strung between two towers.

We climb the steps up the first one, walk over the “bridge” in the canopy and then climb even higher up the second tower to be above the tree tops.

The taller tower is in the distance here.Myakka with Carrie (195)




It’s just amazing to be IN the canopy especially with no one waiting behind you to cross.  You can look closely at the resurrection ferns, imagine being a squirrel running all over up here, see what the birds see from their perches.

Myakka with Carrie (199)


It’s a long way up. 

Myakka with Carrie (201)



But once you are ABOVE the canopy, you can see for miles.


Myakka with Carrie (202)


Myakka with Carrie (203)


And then I look down on the palms and it’s just amazing.  I’m on top of the world.  I’m the clouds smiling down on Palm tops.  It’s simply beautiful.


Myakka with Carrie (210)M 


I see them.  It’s those bad little pigs.

Myakka with Carrie (216)

We have the great fortune to be the only folks up on the tower for quite a while.  We can look all around 360 degrees and take our time.  I look over to the open space again and I see them.  The destructive Wild Boar.  We knew they were close about since the land all around the trail to the tower had been nearly plowed up by them.  These invasive species are a real detriment to the park and the native flora and fauna.


Myakka with Carrie (214)


We have time for the “long arm camera shot” before we go down.

Myakka with Carrie (217) 
Sometimes the arm doesn’t get it quite right.

Myakka with Carrie (218)

That always makes Carrie laugh!  We LOVE her laugh!!

Myakka with Carrie (219)



Just as we start down, we get a fly by.   We are at the same level with this flock.  It’s thrilling.



Looking down as they are going down


Myakka with Carrie (222)


David takes this picture from the bottom looking up.

Myakka with Carrie (225)


Carrie takes this picture of him taking the picture.




We are definitely having FUN.


And we have just enough time to get back to Nokomis for one last sunset for Carrie before she has to leave tomorrow.

Myakka with Carrie (248)


Myakka with Carrie (250)


  1. Boo Hoo! I was going to send you a National Wildlife Refuges Passport Book, but guess you don't need one. :( Oh well, I'll think of something else some time...

  2. So nice that you could share all this breathtaking beauty with Carrie (and us). Another wonderful family memory with some great pictures (and some not so great) pictures to remember the day by. Nature is amazing! :c)

  3. I just love your fun family outings! You clearly a good time together. Cute long arm camera shots!

  4. LOVE the Spoonbills ... how gorgeous are they along with the other birds ... the Canopy ... well, everything but oh, man... the picture of the three of you together for the long arm shot and Carrie laughing? ... that's what's it's all about ... nature, the love of nature and a child's laughter .. don't care how old they get ... sigh ;)

  5. Must be an amazing feeling to be so high in the canopy that you're looking down on the palm trees.

  6. Love that canopy walk, how cool. I also love the Roseate Spoonbills.

  7. This was deja vu for me. One of our favorite places!! Thanks for taking us back for the day. Hope we can get a couple days there this winter...such a wonderful park! So much fun watching the three of you have so much fun:o))

  8. Fun! That last picture was incredible! You should have that framed for Carrie :)

  9. So many birds. And the pink looks like decorations in the trees. Love, love, love the canopy walk. Nice to get a different perspective.

  10. I like those pink birds!!!! And the canopy walk, what fun!!!! The passport books... i have the NP one, it is the sense of accomplishment..I was actually was THERE and did THAT!! That's the way i feel :)

  11. That was a wonderful enjoyable post. Thank You!
    You guys have a lot of stamina to get up that tower and it paid off. Great views.

  12. Having never been to Florida, there is always something that I learn from your posts. It's like a different world from the Northwest. It is something so great about our great land, the awesome diversity! I want to see it all. Happy New Year to you all!

  13. Making me homesick again. We used to put our 34' in sites 1 or 2 in Big Flats.

  14. We just love getting our passport stamped too. Love the wild boars!

  15. Don't you just love Myakka?? When we were there in 2010, the weather was horrible, rainy cold and wet, but I felt really bad for the folks down in Big Flats, especially tenters, the campground was halfway underwater! Those poor folks looked like drowned river rats :-(

  16. Spoonbills! and Pelicans! I am used to the white pelicans here in the summer, but consider myself lucky if I see even one spoonbill when I am in Florida. A whole flock of them! omigosh! We could put our 26 footer in that little circle campground. Of course, I had to pin it for next year.

  17. What a great visit to Myakka. We really need to go back there, it looks like it's improved so much since we were last there. I love that you got to see so many Spoonbills. I always enjoy seeing white pelicans. I just checked...it's 95 miles to Myakka from here. We really need to get down there!!!

    How is the campground for big rigs? Easy in and out?

  18. I loved Myakka - the bird variety is wonderful - it is amazing how different the parts of Florida can be! What a fun day from start to finish :)


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