Saturdays @ 8:00 am
Myakka River State Park
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Location: Myakka River State Park
The pristine Myakka is a river of uncommon splendor and natural beauty. Old Florida preserved. The Myakka River is rare in that it has been declared by the State of Florida as a "Wild and Scenic River" which is an official classification that confers a privileged level of state preservation, ensuring the protection of the river's primal elegance and boundless diversity.
Experience a relic landscape of yesterday's Florida. Paddle the river's unhurried course with rare sandhill cranes and roseate spoonbills; eat lunch under the dappled shade of an ancient live oak dressed in a shabby gown of Spanish moss; glide silently past lazy gators basking on a sunny bluff; keep an eye out for curious otters, cautious fawns, wild turkeys, and foxes along the river's edge. Once off the water, climb the lookout tower above the canopy and share the sky with eagles, ospreys, and swallow-tail kites.
From the intrepid to the timid, you will be on the water with wild alligators! However, these living dinosaurs are typically as fearsome as your common house cat (an 800-pound version with 80, two-inch long teeth)! Despite the menacing reputation of their more aggressive crocodilian cousins, alligators tend to be rather shy and passive. As Florida natives and trained naturalists, we are very accustomed to the ways and means of gators and it's our job to keep you safe. Don't Worry! Whether you prefer to keep your distance or float right past, you're just about guaranteed to be closer to wild gators than you ever thought possible! Despite the presence of gators, this trip is exceedingly safe and appropriate for all ages. Safety is paramount and risky behavior is not promoted or tolerated.
Experience an impressive bird's eye view of the region from the 75-foot observation tower and tour the treetops on the 100-foot long canopy walkway in search of orchids, bromeliads, resurrection ferns, and other tropical epiphytes.
The Myakka River trips takes us along the beautiful blackwater river and through an extensive freshwater marsh. Hardwood and palm hammocks are abundant, with pine flatwoods and dry prairie comprising most of the upland habitat. The area is home to an incredible array of plants and animals including approximately 250 species of birds, over 50 kinds of reptiles and amphibians, and at least 25 different species of mammals.