Myakka River State Park is one of the few places in North America that has a “canopy walk.” This is a raised boardwalk in the canopy of trees. Life a few yards in the air is different from down below. You can see bromeliads and butterfly orchids up close.
The trail was a little difficult to find, because it shares the parking area with another walking trail. I passed it twice. But once I found it, I was on my way. I had been on it three times before, so I should have found it easier.
The trail takes you first to a tower where you climb about 30 ft. up to the suspension bridge. It is tempting to rush through the bridge, but take your time. Go slow, and study the tree tops carefully.
Life up here is different. Florida is unique, where just a few feet can be a whole different environment. Different plants, different animals, reptiles, birds, and other critters. Most of the plants here are epiphytes, plants that live up in the trees instead of on the ground. There is no soil for nutrients. Leaves from the trees fall in between the leaves of bromeliads, and as they decay, they become the soil for the air plant.
Here are a nice crop of resurrection ferns. They turn green only from recent rains. When it is dry, they turn brown and look wilted again.
At the other end of the bridge, is another tower. You continue climbing up to twice the elevation. Up you go, looking down on the suspension bridge.
Until at the top, you are now 76 feet above the ground. It can be very windy here, which was a contrast to the still air below. You can see many miles in every direction, and I see Myakka Lake in the distance.
Stop by Myakka River State Park and check it out!
One additional note. I almost always see wildlife in this park. Be careful and drive slow.