One Florida island paradise takes prime billing for lovely seashores. Caladesi Island State Park acquired the nod from Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, AKA Dr. Seaside, as primary seashore within the nation in 2008. The shelling right here is implausible. You might discover a starfish or an ideal conch shell washed ashore.
Except for the glowing surf and pristine sand seashore, this park is an excellent place to go kayaking down a mangrove coated waterway or hike the two.5 mile nature path and search for wildlife. When you select the character path, it begins simply to the left of the ranger station close to the Outdated Tower Web site and winds from the seashore by way of the hammock then again once more to the seashore. Solely the final a part of the path is a loop so that you do traverse a number of the seashore part each methods.
As soon as you progress from true seashore to clean, the path is residence to jap diamondback rattlers so proceed with warning significantly across the ruins of the previous homestead. One other merchandise to deal with with warning is the prickly pear cactus that’s sprinkled liberally within the scrub space. It is right here too you’re most certainly to see a number of the different wildlife that calls the island residence, armadillo, marsh rabbit and possibly an endangered gopher tortoise.
Stroll down the seashore and found a small pond, Cat’s Eye Pond, the place the path returns to the seashore. It is a great spot to seek out a number of the island’s water birds — egrets, heron, roseate spoonbill and ibis. There are such a lot of you will not know the place to level the digicam subsequent. The seashore scrub transforms to piney woods because the elevation will increase just a few toes in peak. Raccoons will vary from right here to the pond and even on to the seashore however they’re extra prone to be seen close to twilight or at evening.
Boat tenting is allowed on the island by reservation only–there are 108 boat slips all with electrical hookups–so it’s doable to be there after darkish however taking the path then shouldn’t be a sensible thought. Pets on leash are allowed on the boats and most different areas however not the seashore.
One other approach to see one thing apart from the seashore is to paddle the three.25 mile kayak/canoe path. The final two thirds of the path is a loop from the marina by way of Saint Joseph Sound so that you do see a whole lot of the island that’s inaccessible by foot.
The island has an attention-grabbing historical past. It was as soon as a bigger island referred to as Hog Island. In 1921, an enormous hurricane blew by way of this space leaving the same old destruction in its wake. It was so fierce, folks on the island tied their youngsters to bushes to maintain them from being blown away. When the storm was over, the island had been reduce in two. The brand new cross was referred to as – what else- Hurricane Go.
Myrtle Scharrer Betz grew up on the island within the early 1900s. She rowed a small boat from the island to Dunedin to attend faculty. She later wrote her autobiography referred to as “Yesteryear I Lived In Paradise.”
Caladesi Island and the opposite islands that make up the state park are very near Paradise.
Maybe one motive for the great seashores is that this park can solely be accessed by boat. The state gives a ferry from close by Honeymoon Island State Park or you should use your personal boat.