Monday, January 30, 2012

Strolling through some Lee County Parks…

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

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.

Slash Pine Flatwoods   2012-01-29 Lee County Parks 002  Bald Eagle

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.

2012-01-29 Lee County Parks 011

However, for $1.00 per hour parking it allows us to explore some of the lands that were bought by Lee COE Franklin ParkCounty 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.

red fruits    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 SawPalmetto frondflatwoods, 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.


  1. Looks like some great places for hikes. Price is the reason we haven't headed to Florida yet, if it keeps going up we may never make it there.

  2. I'm glad we did all our Florida rv'ing back when it was somewhat affordable. So many beautiful places to see. And it's nice to read that efforts are being made to preserve some native habitat.

  3. The high prices are the main reason we aren't in Florida. Can't understand why they have to charge so much!
    I just love your pictures. What a great eye you have. I didn't read it in your profile, but I have a feeling you were in one life or other a photographer! ~wheresweaver

  4. Really beautiful pictures!

    Would it be possible to bike over to the preserve from Seminole? Or are the roads too dangerous between the two places? Sounds like they don't charge bikers or walkers, only cars.

  5. Janie and John - yes we plan to go west next year but I am worried that Florida may price us out of the market too...

    Carole DeAngeli - I was surprised at the amount of money that was spent by just this one county preserving native habitat.

    Paul and Marsha Weaver - Never was a "real" photographer but there was a time I thought I could make money selling my photography and pen and ink drawings... never tried it though...

    Judy and Emma - the pictures are easier when the subjects are beautiful... I will have you know I chased this butterfly everywhere to a picture of it and failed way more times than the one success got

    Sherry - It is a bit too dangerous (in my opinion)to bike over to the preserve from Seminole, however, there are some fairly extensive mountain biking trails there that are widely used...

  6. Price is the main reason we will never go to Florida, we have travelled so many other places we love without those high prices. Enjoy it while you can!

  7. Great info- never spent any time in Lee county.

  8. Lovely parks to spend the day; I guess we'd better get down that a way sooner rather than later, if we don't want to be priced out of the market.

  9. Looks like a great Park. We missed it while we were in the area:(

  10. Lovely shot of the Zebra Longwing. You guys really have this full-timing down pat.