Back in February, before moving out to the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to make one more kayak run down the Turner River. So I loaded up the car the night before and made it down to the kayak launch at first light.
After my tiny taste of swamp walking back in the Okaloacoochee Slough, I was itching to get some serious swamping in. Having passed by the location once before, I decided my first real swamp walk was to be held in the Sweetwater Strand off of Loop Road.
One of the kayaking gems of South West Florida, Estero River. Join me as I kayak all the way up the river and then head back out into the Gulf of Mexico and loop around Mound Key Archaeological State Park. Wow, that really sounded like I was introducing a TV spot. Ok, let’s get back to the Yakin!
As a child, I remember my family taking me to Collier Seminole State Park on a few occasions. One visit my Father rented a canoe and we paddled down Blackwater River as far as Mud Bay before it was time to turn around. That was so long ago, so I don’t really remember much past that.
Here is what one of the park websites have to say about the State Park:
“The park overlaps the northern edge of the great mangrove swamp of southwestern Florida, and the southern edge of the Big Cypress Swamp. The park is the meeting place of the land and the sea, fresh water and salt water, and tropical and temperate zone vegetation. Because of this blending, a great diversity of plants and interesting wildlife are found here.”
Having already documented the parks three walking trails, I figured it was about time to load up the yak and see how the ole canoe trail was holding up.
The J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a curious place. Located on Sanibel Island, Florida, it fits in perfectly with the surrounding area. For those that have never been to Sanibel, one of the main things to do is rent or bring your own bicycle. With bike paths along most of the major parts of the island, it’s quite the friendly place for the recreational cyclist. Basically a nice easy way to tour the island, and the wildlife refuge is no different.