Over spring break, we spent three nights at Collier Seminole State Park. We didn’t take our bikes or our kayaks and after we got there, we wished we had! John did bring his fishing stuff and spent some time at the dock fishing.
There’s a lot of history here. This is the park keepers house. The bottom is the visitors center and the top is off limits now.
This is a dugout canoe that Native Americans would’ve used. I can’t get over how narrow it is! I think my 8 year old would fit best. I’m not sure you would get me in that and stay right side up in the water!
This contraption is a walking dredge that was used to build Tamiami Trail through the Everglades. The story of how they finished the road is pretty neat!
We weren’t sure about the campground when we first pulled in. We felt like we were so close to our neighbors. As it turned out, it wasn’t so bad. Yes, the sites in the middle are closer together.
But, they have the center of the circle for kids to run around in.
It kept us from feeling too crowded. The sites around the outside are wider. The only hook ups are water and electric.
The kids loved playing around this fire ring? sand box? Whatever it was, they had fun!
We were given a family membership to the Naples Zoo and we finally made it. I’m not much of a zoo person, but this was OK. It isn’t huge, but it was worth the trip and we might even go back. There was giraffe feeding and camel rides that my youngest thinks he just has to do.
The primate excursion is a 15 minute boat ride around the islands where the monkeys live. This lesser ape (I think) was putting on a show for us!
A giant anteater – I really can’t believe how big he was!
Of all the animals there, the ducklings win the cutest award! They were totally unfazed by all the people passing by their puddle.
I had read about Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in our local paper and thought it sounded interesting. When I realized it was less than an hour from the campground, I decided we should check that out too. It turned out to be pretty neat. The boardwalk is 2.25 miles long and there are several places to stop along the way (but no facilities). We were surprised at how many people were there! Our kid were not as impressed with the walk, although I think if they had each had their own pair of binoculars it might’ve been a little better.
One of the first things we spotted was a Painted Bunting. These brightly colored birds flitted from the feeder to the nearby palm trees. I could’ve watched them for longer (and tried to get more pictures), but the kids were already restless and not impressed with these little birds. As a side note – there were some serious bird watchers and they were always willing to point out what they were looking at and tell us what kind of bird it was. There were some signs along the way pointing out the birds most commonly sighted.
Towards the end of the walk, there was a small “pond” left (rainy season is still a month or two away) and there were lots of birds and some alligators.
The gators were just laying around soaking up the sun.
The birds were totally unconcerned about the gators laying nearby.
We watched these two anhingas fight for dinner (or maybe just for the seat on the tree stump).
You can see why they are also called snake birds. Look at him with just his head sticking up from the water.
We’re planning to go back to Collier Seminole State Park with our bikes and kayaks. Have you visited Naples, FL? Any suggestions for things we must see/do?