Location: Myakka River State Park
Trailhead (Google Plus Code): 7PPV+CX Myakka City, Florida
Hike Length: 4 miles
Time Estimate: 2-3 hours
Habitats: Hardwood Hammock, Dry Prairie
Notes: Generally little traffic at the North end of the park. This is a four-mile hike through hammock, dry prairie and along the stream of Clay Gulley. There is a lot of pig activity along the trail.
- Prescribed Fires – This area is burned on a regular basis every one to three years. Look for burn evidence on the ground and the base of trees.
- Dry prairie ecosystem – This is a great example of the endangered ecosystem: Florida Dry Prairie.
- Black Vultures – Black vultures have black heads, unlike the turkey vulture’s red head, and have light tips on their black wings if viewed from below.
- Red-Shouldered Hawks – Florida’s most common hawk, red-shouldered hawk calls are common here and throughout the area.
- Prairie Butterflies – This is butterfly heaven… keep your eyes open for white peacocks, buckeyes, bella moths and more.
- Smilax Vine – Notice the smilax vine growing along the path. The fresh tips of the vine are edible and popular food for deer.
- Animal tracks – As this hike is only lightly travelled, there is almost always a chance to see fresh animal tracks in the sand and mud.
- Wildflowers – Look for a wide range of wildflowers here, which change with the seasons.