Typical view [?]
NOTE: Some is C, some is B.
NOTE: Haven't had them but they have to be there.
NOTE: Had none but there is grass and deer
LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
One of the oldest and largest Florida state parks. CCC projects were constructed here in the 1930s. A couple days worth of hiking trails, a great lake and river, great for birds, great for visible wildlife. Mostly oak and sable palm forests. Tends to flood.
Frequently you'll see turkeys, wading birds, shore birds, hawks, and just general birds. We've seen one or two new warblers here. Sometimes there will be clouds of grackle or at the right time of year robins. You'll always at least see an entertaining number of wading birds.
Usually you see deer that aren't too shy. I'm sure all kinds of other things are out here as well. It's not in bear territory though.
Everything a state park has. There is a lot of RV camping, cabins made of cabbage palms, a boardwalk for watching birds, and an odd suspension bridge tower.
There is a north entrance - Crowley Museum is near there and a quicker route to Celery Field. Usually people enter from the main south entrance. It's surprising close to Sarasota so it's often a nice trip of doing things in an interesting city after a nice hike.
Probably an hour to drive out to the birding boardwalk and see it. You could spend days doing the many miles of trails.
The park can get a good amount of traffic in tourist season but it's big enough that it's unlikely to bother you. There are some short trails anyone can do that are worth doing and there's the boardwalk for birds. It looks out over an area that's sometimes prairie (depending on recent rainfall) and looking over the lake/river. Some days it's just a moderate number of birds around other types it's like looking at a watering hole on the Serengeti with all kinds of groups of birds, pigs, and deer. So that boardwalk is worth seeing.
There are also quite a few trails going deep into the park. I believe the farthest point out is 14 miles but you could spend multiple days doing all of it. There are some good primitive camp sites but call first because some of them fill up in the cool season. I'd imagine if you don't mind walking further out there would likely be fee spots at other camp sites.
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