State Forest or State Park ?

Finding a place to camp in Florida is an exercise in planning and persistence. Myakka River State Park near Sarasota is one of our favorites. When booking spots for our current road trip we thought we snagged a spot at this popular state park. Turned out we booked a spot at Myakka River Forest Preserve. The Forest Preserve provides beautiful secluded spots with no power or water while the State Park has electric and water. Whoops.

Our confusion gave us an opportunity to put our new solar panel into service. It worked great. The campground only has 10 camp spots and is very quiet. Our location gave us access to many miles of hiking and biking trails.

Our stay offered lots of opportunities to observe the wildlife. We saw baby feral pigs, Sandhill Cranes and a Bobcat.

In addition to wildlife and birding opportunities we got a chance to checkout the surrounding towns of Englewood and Punta Gorda.

Englewood Beach
On the Espalade in Punta Gorda

As nice as the State Forest turned out to be we really wanted to spend some time at the State Park. This is where persistence pays off. After checking back with the park a spot turned up as a result of a cancellation. We were able to get a spot for two days.

Site 1 in the Big Flats Loop

The reason to be here is the easy acces to birding and biking.

Little Blue Heron
Roseate Spoonbills, Limpkins, Black Vultures and Cormorants
White Ibis feeding at sunset

We also saw a large group of white pelicans (rare to us) , raccoons, red shouldered hawks, wild turkeys, more wild hogs and of course, lots of alligators. With all that wildlife viewing our two day stay just flew by.

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