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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Myakka River State Park / Sarasota County Florida

December 2013, Christmas Eve afternoon visit

Getting there 
Getting to Myakka River State Park was an easy nine mile drive east on State Road 72 from exit 205 off Interstate 75. Park exit signs were easily visible on the interstate, and there was not much traffic on State Road 72. 

The cost to enter the park was $6 per vehicle, which could be paid by cash or credit card. We did not need to wait in line to enter the park, so we were surprised to see so many vehicles and campers inside the park on Christmas Eve after we entered.

Inside the park
We drove all of the way to the Clay Gully picnic area near the north entrance when we first arrived. We had lunch by the river, and the first few photos are from this area. A couple of vehicles drove through the area, and a couple on bicycles stopped after us. Other than that, there was not anyone else in this area. Even though there was not much activity, we did not observe any wildlife.

We then slowly made our way back past the Birdwalk and Boat Basin. We had thought we would stop and get out in the boat basin area; however, this area was very crowded, and it looked more like a tourist area. We must have stopped at the same time that a group of people were either coming or going on the airboat rides.

We stopped at the Nature Trail and Canopy Walkway & Tower.

We did not see hardly anyone after we got on the nature trail and away from the crowd in the parking area. We heard some noise in the trees; however, the only wildlife we saw were birds.  

The view from the canopy tower and walkway was fabulous! I am mildly afraid of heights, and I was surprised that I was able to walk all of the way to the top of the tower without too much trouble.

I have walked up a few high towers in the upper peninsula in Michigan; however, I do not think any of them have been as high as this one. I did not look over the edge for long, though!

enlarge this photo to see
the walkway through the trees
The rest of the photos here are from the tower and walkway.  Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.


We thought this was a fabulous park, and we were disappointed that we were not able to stay longer. We were relocating to new lodging the day that we stopped, and we had a 2-hour drive after leaving the park. It is definitely on our list of places to visit again the next time we are in the area! The camping looked great, too, which was $26 a night with water and electricity.