Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Collier-Seminole State Park

My 1st State Park in my RV! 

I was looking for a legal, cheap-ish, place to camp near my parents in Naples and the logical choice was Collier-Seminole State Park.  It’s out about 10-15 miles from my parents and it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere (but I still have some cell phone service – it comes and goes). 

South Florida is mostly swamp & mangrove forest so as soon as civilization ends the swamp quickly begins. 

The park is good sized with a nice campground that can accommodate anything from tent campers to folks with rigs up to 40’.  The campsites are large and easy to get into.   They are all relatively level also, but this after all Florida.  They have water and electric hook ups as well!  What more can you ask for – a lovely setting & electricity!)

They have a few hiking trails & opportunities to canoe & kayak.

This morning I woke up at 6:30 and decided to take a sunrise stroll along the 1 mile nature trail! It was chilly in the RV so I decided it was the perfect time for a walk and that way I’d wait & take a shower when I got back and hopefully not disturb my neighbor in the tent with the water pump noise.   I quickly threw on some clothes and made coffee to take with me. 

The trail was lovely – mostly boardwalk, all flat!  Glad I’d walked before my shower as I ended up needed significant amounts of bug spray to keep the mosquitoes at bay!

In the heat of the day I find this area simply unbearable – intense sun, dry spiky plants, flat, flat, flat, flat, and then there are the bugs!  Those Seminole Indians must have been a hardy bunch to survive and thrive in the Everglades!

Along the way there were some interpretive exhibits about Baron Collier who wanted this land to be a National Park but wasn’t able to accomplish it.  He was a millionaire who helped build the road from Tampa to Miami (getting the road through the swamp was quite a feat of engineering) and loved the Everglades and wanted the land set aside.  I also learned that this area is one of only a few places where the Royal Palms grow naturally!

In the early AM, with sun just peeking between the Palm fronds and the temps still bearable it was very easy to see what Baron Collier saw in this land and that riches it holds!  There are all kinds of birds and cool animals – panthers, snakes, alligators, turtles, frogs (none of which I saw!) – as well as plants and flowers!  Too bad the early morning hours are short!

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