Friday, July 03, 2015

A walk in the park–Mullet Lake Park

Picnic PavilionWith the heat index hitting over 100 degrees lately, I was looking for a shorter hike that might even have a little breeze.  I found this spot by looking at Google Earth with the Panoramio layer turned on.  I saw a clump of pictures around the river, did some searching, and found this spot. 

Campsite LoopThis is a nice little park for an afternoon hike – not too long, and plenty of river breezes.  We started our hike by heading south from the parking area through the campsite loop.  There are about eight primitive campsites back here, complete with picnic tables and fire pits, all under tall palm trees.

Gator & Racoon tracksHeading south from the campsite loop, the trail is just a sandy strip that winds through the plants.  The sand on this day was a little wet and was about the same feel to walk on as at the beach where the waves are breaking.  We saw a lot of prints in the sand – alligator tracks, raccoon prints, and a whole bunch of small deer tracks. 

Underwater plants 2Along the way, there are several small pools of water with abundant underwater vegetation and algae.  The water is clear, and the plants and algae have made what almost looks like canyons in miniature.

Lake beyond grassAs we hiked around towards the lake, there were only a few places where it could actually be seen. 

Andy by watering holeThere is a lot of tall grass growing from the waterline back to the solid ground, and in some places the wild Hibiscus plants are as high as seven or eight feet and so dense that it is impossible to see past them.  At one point, I walked through the grass to see how close I could get to the lake – Tina said it looks like there should be lions hiding in this savannah-like area.

Tina by pondThere is a pond (or river-inlet) near where we parked with a lot of lily pads on the surface.  Normally this is the perfect type of wetland spot to see a lot of wild birds, but today there were only a few.  I imagine it was getting too warm for most of them too.

Today’s hike was a lot shorter than most of our trips, but that was the plan for today.  One thing that I found interesting about this trip really showed up when I came home and looked at our trail with a satellite view… this spot obviously changes a lot throughout the seasons.  Our hike shows that we went through several areas that were underwater when the satellite photo was taken.  Similarly, there are several areas with photos from Panoramio that are geo-located to spots that we couldn’t access. 

If you’re interested in the technical details or downloading a gpx file, both are available by clicking on “Trip details” below the map.

Gator tracksGator tracks 2 Underwater plants Lake beyond grass 2
Watering hole Walking through the grass Lions hiding in the grass

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