Thursday, March 11, 2021

Myakka River State Park


Myakka State park used to be our favorite park.  We've been on the boat tour many times and the tram tour once.  Always before, we saw so many birds and animals. The only place I've ever seen a Purple Galinul was on the boat tour.  However, even though it was a warm sunny day, the wind was just howling out of the East when we visited the park yesterday.

So what we saw while on the water were white cap waves, and looking back toward the visitor center we could see the smoke cloud of the prescribed burn.  The park ranger told us they burn 10,000 acres of undergrowth in the park every year.

We did see birds and alligators, but they were all in the protected area of the boat basin where they could shelter from the wind.  My advice is if you are going to spend the $20 per person for the boat tour, choose a day when it isn't windy.

Also, if you do take the boat tour on a windy day, even if the temperature is 76 degrees, if the wind is blowing, wear a sweater!
Of course, you will see alligators in the sunny areas out of the wind.  We were told there are between 500 and 1000 alligators in the lake. And the lake isn't that big - one mile across and about 2 and a half miles long.  The weir at the end of the lake usually has multiple alligators sunning themselves also.

Since Myakka State Park is very close to Sarasota and the busy areas along the west coast of the state, it draws hordes of visitors.  Even on a weekday, we had to wait in a line of about ten cars to check in at the front gate, and barely managed to squeeze onto the first available boat tour.  And the huge air boats that used to take people out on the boat tour have been replaced with barges with two 50 horse motors, which can achieve a high speed of about 5 knots, and which can't get close to the shore like the air boats did in the past.  The feral pigs and shore birds along the banks of the lake were only visible with binoculars.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like your boat tour was a bit of a let down. I just not sure I could live with alligators.