Discovering the natural wonders of Southwest Florida

Discovering the wonders of Southwest Florida

By Christine Wenk-Harrison

A recent road trip to visit family in Florida took us to Rotonda West, about 50 miles south of Sarasota. Our hosts have a home on a circular canal where bird watching is a daily pleasure. With no outlet to salt water, only a limited number of small boats (pontoons and motorized skiffs) occasionally pass by. Jim thought a kayak would be ideal until his brother advised him that alligators also inhabit the canal.

We did, however, get to kayak when our family took us to nearby Don Pedro State Park for a two-hour kayak paddle to the park’s barrier island, which is accessible only by boat. We walked along the beautiful mile-long beach, which offers some of the best shell collecting I can recall.

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