Monday, December 31, 2007

Canoe Trip on the Hillsborough River

Ed and I learned about Canoe Escape during our visit to Sargeant's Park while geocaching. We met one of the guides at the boat launch area and decided to sign up for a self-guided canoe trip down the Hillsborough River. There are a number of tours and we chose the 4.5 mile trip downriver from Sargeant's to Morris Bridge Park. We opted for a canoe although kayaks are available.

This stretch of river is noted for an abundance of wildlife and we were not disappointed. This guy is the reason that Canoe Escape doesn't allow you to bring dogs. No free meals for him, please!

We've seen lots of turtles in our life but not this kind, called a Florida red-bellied turtle.

This is a Great Blue Heron, although it's hard to get a sense of his size from this photo.

We first saw anhingas in the Everglades. They look similar to cormorants and they hang their wings out to dry in the same way.

When I snapped this picture I didn't know what it was as I'd never seen a bird quite like it before. I thought maybe it was an immature heron. But no, after consulting our bird book, I discovered it is a limpkin. Apparently it's more active at night so we were fortunate to see it.

Sargeant's Park and Morris Bridge Park are just two of six parks in the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Area. There are off road trails throughout for hiking and biking as well as fishing and bird watching opportunities on the river. We look forward to exploring and doing some geocaching here this winter!

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