Location: Myakka River State Park
Trailhead (Google Plus Code): 6PF2+Q8
Hike Length: 2.5 miles
Time Estimate: two hours
Habitats: Dry Prairie
Notes: Almost always has some wet trail. You don’t need to go into the park entrance to access this – Access the Horse trail from 72, 1.4 miles east of the park’s south entrance. The hike is on flat ground, but the ground is uneven, and is often through brush, water and mud.
- 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.
- Depression marsh – There is at least one depression marsh here — notice the different plant species as you move toward the center of the circular marsh.
- Dry prairie ecosystem – This is a great example of the endangered ecosystem: Florida Dry Prairie.
- Eastern Meadowlarks – Meadowlarks are common out in the dry prairie and pine flatwoods. Become familiar with their call in order to spot them.
- Invasive species – As you get to the gulley, notice the sign describing invasive species. In addition to the area offering flora of the dry prairie habitat, the hammock unfortunately has a variety of common invasives.
- Prairie Butterflies – This is butterfly heaven… keep your eyes open for white peacocks, buckeyes, bella moths and more.
- 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.
- Sundew carnivorous plants – Keep an eye open for sundews underfoot. If the water conditions are right, you’ll see these cool little carnivorous plants.