The Myakka River is a designated wild and scenic river, one of the best places to see alligators, wild boar, roseate spoonbills and other wildlife in their natural setting. There are numerous trails and an observation tower in the tree canopy which we'll visit at lunch on Saturday. Bring your bicycles, the paved trails as well as dirt trails are fantastic!.
Saturday we'll meet at 9:30 am at the boat ramp on upper Myakka Lake near the north end of Myakka River State park. There is a $5 per vehicle fee to enter the park. Find a map and directions to the park at the parks website http://www.myakkariver.org
We'll unload boats at the lake then shuttle most of the cars to a parking lot near the takeout at the bridge near the parks south entrance. We'll return to the boat ramp and launch about 10:30am. This will require a portage over the weir at the southwest corner of the lake at the mouth of the river. The paddle is downstream through winding grasslands approx. 3-4 miles filled with gators. We'll stop for a picnic lunch near the observation tower then take a short hike to the observation tower where we'll enjoy the canopy of trees overlooking the parks wetlands. The rest of the paddle to the takeout at the bridge is quite short. This is a beginner/intermediate paddle...but full of gators!!! Some amazingly large!
Camping option: make a reservation in the Big Flats loop, i am at site 14. If you wish to stay together in a group please book now, that loop is entirely open but this is a popular campground and will be filled several months in advance!..call the park [masked] or go to Reserveamerica.com for camping reservations.
I will attempt to get a permit to paddle the restricted lower section, to 'gator hole' for a limited number of experienced paddlers for Sunday, will post separately.
PLEASE NOTE: This paddle can be frightening for those not used to gators jumpin on the bow a yer boat an rockin it a bit..please, no kids or pets...gator bait!!!! As usual, bring your kayak, paddle, PFD, whistle, bug juice, sunscreen, plenty of H2O, picnic lunch..and your car camp equip if camping, we'll plan a potluck for those camping...lets make it "Octoberfest" per Anna's idea...!!! How about Brats, grilled pork chops, sauerkraut, rotisserie chicken, German potato salad, braised cabbage, spaetzle, apple kuchen....anything German.....don't forget the beer and polka music! And we'll spread out the potluck to Sunday breakfast...instead of way too much food Saturday night, lets host a Sunday continental breakfast potluck...instead of bringing something Saturday would some folks please bring some simple morning eats...coffee, milk, cream, sugar, fruit, bagels, cream cheese, croissants,jam, coffee cake....etc