Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Beautiful Hike at Emerson Point, Palmetto FL

Sparky found another gem of a park...Emerson Point....This is a Manatee County Park that has all three designations listed in the photo above. It's a pretty special place! Sparky has been hiking all this past week at different birding spots in Sarasota, and so far, this one is her favorite. It's actually in Palmetto, but close enough and easy to get to. The actual location is the west end of Snead Island, on the north shore of the Manatee River, and Terra Ceia Bay is to the north. The address is: 5801 17th Street West, Palmetto, FL. The hours:

Terra Ceia Trail
Having been there a couple of times now, Sparky is really happy to have found this preserve....There are beautiful shaded areas to walk, a nice trail along Terra Ceia Bay, and MOST of the trails are flat except for the Terra Ceia Bay one. Lots to see along the way....The scenery changes from shady woods to open areas, to slight elevations, to wide open spaces. There are LOTS of birds in the marshes by the mangroves.....Yesterday's walk, Sparky spotted at least 20 snowy egrets, several tricolored herons, two great white egrets and several ibis in the thickets of the mangrove roots.
Emerson is evolving...they are trying to rebuild and restore the wetlands, marshes, and fields in some of the areas so there are signs saying, "STAY ON DESIGNATED PATHS" everywhere. That's ok...there are so many paths that wind in and around the preserve, it's great! There's an Indian Mound there, beautiful staircases and bridges, AND an observation tower. There are many places to sit and catch your breath and see the views of the water. Lots to learn about the local history of the area, too. This would be a great place for a family hike or get together.
Sparky is always amazed at the tangled web of mangroves in some places....Here you can really see how the mangroves' roots help protect and preserve the soil from erosion from storms.
In other spots of the preserve, the mangrove roots are more spread out.....Well, sort of....
Whoever the stewards are of this property, (owned by Manatee County) they certainly do a wonderful job of maintaining this preserve. There are other parks and preserves in the county that you cannot say the same. They even have bee boxes at Emerson! This one was very busy!
Here's a closeup with a zoom...Sparky is glad that the zoom is on her camera....Happy to see many bees from far away, knowing that colonies are collapsing and the bees are in trouble, which means we are in trouble.
It was a beautiful morning this day....If you are a birder, you would probably see many more species of birds up in the trees and canopies of the palms, but Sparky has trouble spotting birds high up. Such a wonderful place to walk and reflect!
Sparky plans to return many more times to this wonderful preserve....Bye for now....

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