May 2017 – We spent one night in a cabin here on our way down the Gulf Coast. I definitely would have loved to spend more time in this park. It was very quiet during our stay, with just a few other people in cabins or tents. We saw deer, hogs (& babies), ospreys, hawks, and plenty of alligators.
My biggest disappointment at this park was something the park can definitely not help. The drought had dried up a lot of the river. We weren’t able to kayak here as planned because the water was so low in most places. We still had a great time, though.
We started at the onsite restaurant because it was closing shortly after we arrived. We quickly ate burgers on the outside patio overlooking the lake. A hawk decided to join us and watch us from a safe distance.
After our quick dinner, we visited the canopy walk to see it before the sun went down. There was only one other couple there when we arrived, and they were leaving. We enjoyed our time going up above the tree line and back down.
After that, we took the nearby nature trail through the woods. The trail is gravel and easy to navigate. It was very quiet and looked like it might have a lot of wildlife potential, but we did not see anything on our walk.
We visited each scenic stop listed on the brochure given to us by the park ranger at check in. There are a couple of boardwalks and many trails in the park.
Once the sun went down, we put on our headlamps and headed down a trail in search of something. We walked two or three miles before turning around and heading back to the car. We saw a wild hog and piglets but not much else (other than bugs – bug spray is a must!). The stars, even on a cloudy night, were pretty amazing though.
After our walk, we returned to the cabin for the night. The cabins are made out of palm, and they have wood-burning fireplaces (not sure when it would be cold enough for that). They are quite clean and comfortable. The bathroom is pretty tiny and outdated, but it was more than enough for a night.
The next morning, we checked out with no problems and got on the road headed to Naples.