We really like the park we are staying in here at Seminole RV Campground but e really miss how much closer we were to things at Bonita Beach RV Resort. Having said that if we were to ever return to this area we would likely go back to Bonita Lake RV Resort if they don’t price us out of the market. Parks in Southwest Florida are very expensive and we have heard that many if not most of them plan to raise rates another 100.00 next year.
One thing about our new location is that it allowed the opportunity to discover places north and east of Fort Myers. With that in mind we took off for a drive heading east to check out some of Lee Counties Parks. The only drawback to visiting Lee County Parks is that there is a charge for parking… no charge for entering but we haven’t been many places that charge for park access in any fashion must less parking.
However, for $1.00 per hour parking it allows us to explore some of the lands that were bought by Lee County and set aside as natural preserves through their conservation 20/20 program. And looking over their list of preserves shows that Lee County has spent a considerable sum in purchasing and now maintaining these preserves. So the parking fee is at least well spent.
We visited two of these preserves over the last few days. The first one, the Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve, is less than five miles from the park we are in and offers some short hikes on their of boardwalk and nature trails. The trail consists of what is called the “old Florida” vegetation with a mix of densely populated Live Oaks, Palms, and Sawtooth Palmetto. Stretches of the trail take you to spots overlooking the marsh on the banks of the Caloosahatchee river.
The second park we visited, Caloosahatchee Regional Park, is a larger park with more extensive trails for hiking and biking. With over 768 acres of pine flatwoods, scrub oak, cypress swamps and oak hammocks similar to Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve it made for a nicer long walk. Spurs along these trails will take you to spots overlooking the the Caloosahatchee river.
We also made a quick stop to check out the RV facilities available at the COE park W. P. Franklin North near Alva, Florida. This park only has a 30 sites but they are very nicely appointed and all have views of the Caloosahatchee river. This would be a great spot to spend a few days to a week just relaxing near the river. While there we spotted a beautiful bald eagle on a tree top just across the river and we were told by the staff that it had a nest very nearby. How cool that would be to watch an eagle from your backyard…
We hope to visit more of Lee Counties Parks since they offer nice hiking trails and opportunity for observing nature in the lands being preserved… But our next journey will be north to explore Venice Beach.