Myakka River State Park
When flood alerts go out for Myakka River State Park, it's opportunity time. Favorite trails are just as pretty underwater as they are when the waters have receded, but you do have to be aware of where the alligators might be taking a nap.
If you don't mind slogging through puddles, it's also an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson. Water sandals might be great around water, but displaced ants and boat sandals are not a match made in heaven. (Who would have thought that ants were living under all that water??!! Who would have thought that ants, caught inside sandals, would not be happy campers once they "climbed aboard" for a free ride??)
Flood alerts are also an opportunity to make new friends. Birds who normally might be hiding in the trees or in the brush are now more visible along the roads.
While families that used to stay hidden in the woods are now coming out to say "Hey!"
Flood alerts even give vultures an opportunity to pursue a healthier diet plan as they are forced to abstain from munching on all the tantalizing windshield wipers too tempting to resist.
How long the park stays accessible remains to be seen. The river is expected to continue rising and Monday through Wednesday should make for additional changes in the park. As of 7:00 PMSunday the river stage was 8.18 feet. When we were in the park Sunday afternoon, the flood waters were approaching the road, but they hadn't yet overtaken the road that leads to the restaurant and stores. However, the section of the road that goes to the birdwalk was flooded and closed to vehicular traffic.
FYI: Trails, picnic areas and parking lots flood at 7 feet. The main road at the park floods at 8 feet. At 8.5 most of the park is closed to vehicular traffic.
(ADDED BY WEB ADMINISTRATOR AUGUST 28: Due to heavy rains the park is mostly flooded. All areas in the park North of the Myakka Rver Bridge on the Main Park Drive are closed. including Big Flats Campground, Cabins, Birdwalk, The Myakka Outpost and Wildlife Tours are closed. Cabins and Big Flats Campground are also closed. For up to date information about flooding in the Park please contact the Ranger Station at 941-362-6515.)
The river is expected to crest at 10 feet Tuesday at 7:00 PM. Because the Myakka River is slow to "drain," it's expected to stay at this crest through Wednesday. Whether the park continues to allow "walkers" to check out the sights is anyone's guess....
If you decide to go, wear water shoes, bring your cameras and BE CAREFUL!