We left Manatee River State Park and trekked northwest. It was a longer drive than normal for us as we totaled 216 miles before pulling into our site at Keaton Beach Florida. The Old Pavillion RV park was a new stop for us and what a wonderful site we were given just feet from the ocean’s edge. The owner is a very nice lady and although this campground is mostly a fishing camp it offers solitude and fabulous views of the Gulf Coast.
I say it offers solitude since it is at least a half hour to any sized town so we made sure we had the groceries we needed before arriving here. This will be only a three night stay. Our first day we took the short walk the small beach known as Keaton Beach. It reminded me of the beaches in the Keys in that it is very small but otherwise a nice little beach.
The next day we set out to hike at the nearby Big Bend Wildlife Management Area at Hagen’s Cove. We parked beside the viewing tower which overlooks an expansive marsh. After climbing to the top of the tower we had great views of the marsh below. We could only see a few birds far, far away. Temperatures were chilly in the mid 60’s with about 10 mph winds so we decided to walk the trail a bit.
Most evident on our walk were the zillions of Fiddler Crabs. They were everywhere and we had to watch where we walked or we might have stepped on them. We enjoyed watching them scramble around and tuck into their dugouts surrounded by little balls of excavated sand. Walking further we saw lots of recent activity of feral pigs who had been rooting up the soil in search of a tasty treat.
As we ventured further we saw a few flocks of Short-billed Dowitchers and Sandpipers along with some Curlews but most birds were too far away to identify. As the trail left the coastline and headed inland we were walking through a managed pine area in the tall grass coastal prairie. We stopped to check out a Yellow-Rumped Warbler and it was then we were swarmed by blood thirsty savages! These were viscous mosquitos who took us by surprise and had us scurrying back to the safe confines of our CRV. So much for a long hike there…
Back at the RV I would be remiss in not pointing out the best part of this park… It faces due west and offers some of the best sunsets imaginable. Our first two sunsets while here were fabulous and we won’t likely be able to see the third as rain is in the forecast for our last day We are hoping the rain will hold off long enough for us to take one more scenic drive i mapped out…Nevertheless we will certainly earmark this park as one to come back to as we have really enjoyed our stay so far....
NOTE: We are now in Mexico Beach Florida for a few nights.