Location: Myakka River State Park
Trailhead (Google Plus Code): 6MRC+45 Myakka City, Florida
Hike Length: 5 miles
Time Estimate: 3+ hours
Habitats: Hardwood Hammock, Dry Prairie, Wetlands
Notes: Requires permit – contact Ranger’s office for information. If the water is high, you cannot access Deep Hole – check with ranger station.
- Butterfly Orchids – There are butterfly orchids, typically in the live oak trees — they bloom in May.
- Alligators – Keep an eye out for alligators, which are particularly common in the wetter spots near the shore.
- 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.
- Longleaf Pines – The pine flatwoods is the home of slash and longleaf pines. They are sometimes hard to distinguish, but the longleaf pines have particularly large cones.
- Myakka River – This hike will give you an opportunity to see the Myakka River, and that typically also means an opportunity to see alligators.
- Dry prairie ecosystem – This is a great example of the endangered ecosystem: Florida Dry Prairie.
- Apple Snails – Look for native and exotic apple snails underfoot. As they are popular food for Limpkins, you are unlikely to find anything other than empty shells.
- 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.