Have Twins, Will Travel

Myakka River State Park

Sarasota, Florida – It’s wonderful to have snow-birding (grand)parents. We don’t have as much time as we did last year, but there’s no way I’m passing up a *free* vacation in sunny Florida. One of the highlights of the week was our day at Myakka River State Park, a wilderness preserve of scenic lakes, marshland and forest.

We started with a cruise on the Upper Myakka Lake on board the airboat ‘Gator Gal. This is apparently one of the world’s largest airboats, which I guess is supposed to be a good thing. For our purposes, they crammed a few too many people on this venerable craft. But I guess it’s not a priority to leave room for five-year-olds to run around.

In any case, we managed to get a seat on the edge of the boat, offering a good view of the scenic lake and all its marshy areas. And yes, there’s a reason they call the boat the ‘Gator Gal. We spotted 20 plus alligators on our one-hour cruise, in addition to pelicans, anhingas and other bird life. A few more ‘gators showed up as we strolled along the boardwalk which edges the lake.

Two alligators on the banks of the lake in Myakka River State Park.

Afterwards, we made our way to the Myakka Canopy Walkway, which extends across the treetops, 25 feet above ground. This was not quite as impressive as the canopy walkways we have done in the rainforest of Costa Rica, but the twins thought it was a pretty cool interlude. They especially liked climbing to the top of the 74-foot tower that anchors one end.

Canopy walkway tower at Myakka River State Park.

View from the top, Myakka River State Park

The walkway is part of a loop trail that circles through marsh and forest. It was a perfect finish to an adventurous outing for these nature-lovers.