Experience the wild of Myakka River State Park, one of the oldest and largest state parks. Kayak the mysterious waters of the Myakka River and enjoy the local cuisine at the Pink Gator Café before hitting the trails with a Park Ranger to bike through prairies, hammocks, and pinelands, discovering unique birds and wildlife along the way. Park fee of $6 per vehicle collected at the park entrance. Gear, lunch, and professional guides all included. This small group experience best suited for ages 8 and up.
8:30am – 11:45am Meet your expert guide, Wayne Douchkoff, inside the park at Fisherman’s Loop. Here you’ll receive instruction on kayaking and safety before paddling out onto the scenic river. On your paddle, Wayne will share stories about the river and introduce you to its unique habitats and wildlife.
11:45am – 1:00pm After exploring the waters of Myakka, your afternoon Park Ranger guide will lead the carpool/caravan over to the Pink Gator Café for a waterside lunch.
1:00pm – 4:00pm Get ready to saddle up for a bike-and-hike as your guide takes you out on the trails to see how the park protects this fragile and dynamic ecosystem. The tour will end at the Myakka State Park Outpost.
What to wear: wear clothing that is both quick to dry and provides protection from the sun and sport sandals (like Tevas) or water shoes that won’t fall off during the kayaking. In the winter months, you’ll be happy to have a fleece to layer on and off. In the summer, a cooling towel or handkerchief feels nice. You may also want a change of clothes/shoes for after the kayak portion.
What to bring: personal water bottle, hat, polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, bug repellent, pocket-sized binoculars, breathable rain poncho.
About those alligators: Yes, you will encounter alligators during your time on and around the Myakka River. Alligators may intimidate some visitors, but as long as you follow a handful of simple, common-sense guidelines, there is no reason to fear these shy, beautiful creatures, who would much rather avoid human contact altogether. While formidable hunters, they eat fish, turtles and birds—things they can take in one bite. They keep to themselves, basking on the riverbank or sinking below the water to stay out of sight as humans pass by. Before our tour begins, our guide will offer basic tips on how to stay safe around alligators and answer any questions you might have.