PHOTOS: Myakka River Get Away

Florida is full of natural beauty if you escape the sprawl and strip malls. Most visitors miss this as they hurry down the interstate focused on their destinations. But if you exit the freeway and slow down, you can begin to sense it. Myakka River State Park; however, slaps you in the face and says ‘Look at me! I’m beautiful!” No special perception required.

A two hour drive from Sanibel Island rewards you with graceful oaks draped in Spanish moss, thickets of cabbage palms and an abundance of fresh water birds often hard to find elsewhere.

In January, our family went camping for two nights along with some friends. Unfortunately, they were the coldest two nights of the season and my summer-weight sleeping bag left me more than chilly (the kids all had better bags thankfully). But as the light of dawn illuminated our surroundings, I forgot my popsicle toes and we enjoyed the gift mother nature presented.

Myakka River State Park Photos

Daybreak on the Myakka Prairie

Mist rising off the lake on a cold dawn

Upper Myakka Lake

Upper Myakka Lake

Hot chocolate by the fire - It was Chilly!

Hot chocolate by the fire - It was Chilly!

On the canopy walkway

On the canopy walkway

Overlooking the treetops

Overlooking the treetops

The Grill Master (me) preparing kabobs for the crew

The Grill Master (me) preparing kabobs for the crew

A Pair of Sandhill Cranes

A Pair of Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

A Wood Stork

A Wood Stork

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

I'm not the only one taking pictures

I'm not the only one taking pictures

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler?

Things to do at Myakka River State Park

Our family brought bicycles and we rode up and down the paved main road, plus we ventured off onto dirt roads that went deep into the park. Canoeing and kayaking are a major attraction and can be rented at the park. Fishing, hiking and back-country camping are also available. For the less athletic, guided boat and tram tours are also offered.

For more information

Friends of Myakka River
Myakka River State Park official site
Wikipedia: Myakka River State Park

Jim McCallion About Jim McCallion

Meet the "Marketing Megaphone" and Webmaster behind McCallion & McCallion. After selling his software company, Jim, Susan and kids moved to Sanibel in 2008. With his tech experience, he and Susan bring a fresh approach to island real estate.