by M. Timothy O'Keefe (Falcon Guides)
This 28,875-acre state park, named for the Myakka River which flows through it for 12 miles, has long been noted for its wildlife: bald eagles, sandhill cranes, deer, turkey, ospreys, bobcats, otters, wild hogs, alligators, and waterfowl.
The trail will take you into live oak and cabbage palm flatwoods, open expanses of palmetto, and past small marshes. The park’s crowning glory is the 7,500-acre wilderness preserve at the southern end, virtually untouched for hundreds of years. Access here is strictly limited to hikers and canoeists. However, Myakka is also a very touristy park that offers seasonal tram tours, the “World’s Largest Airboat,” and bicycle and canoe rentals. Myakka truly is a study in contrasts.
© 2000 M. Timothy O'Keefe/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.