A Touch of Paradise: Caladesi Island State Park

One Florida island paradise takes prime billing for lovely seashores. Caladesi Island State Park received the nod from Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, AKA Dr. Seaside, as primary seaside within the nation in 2008. The shelling right here is incredible. You can discover a starfish or an ideal conch shell washed ashore.Apart from the glowing surf and pristine sand seaside, this park is a superb place to go kayaking down a mangrove lined waterway or hike the two.5 mile nature path and search for wildlife. In case you select the character path, it begins simply to the left of the ranger station close to the Outdated Tower Website and winds from the seaside via the hammock then again once more to the seaside. Solely the final a part of the path is a loop so that you do traverse a few of the seaside part each methods.As soon as you progress from true seaside to clean, the path is residence to japanese 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 probably to see a few of the different wildlife that calls the island residence, armadillo, marsh rabbit and possibly an endangered gopher tortoise.Stroll down the seaside and found a small pond, Cat’s Eye Pond, the place the path returns to the seaside. This can be a great place to search out a few 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 seaside 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 seaside however they’re extra more likely 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 attainable to be there after darkish however taking the path then will not be a sensible concept. Pets on leash are allowed on the boats and most different areas however not the seaside.One other technique to see one thing in addition to the seaside is to paddle the three.25 mile kayak/canoe path. The final two thirds of the path is a loop from the marina via Saint Joseph Sound so that you do see lots of the island that’s inaccessible by foot.The island has an fascinating historical past. It was as soon as a bigger island known as Hog Island. In 1921, a giant hurricane blew via this space leaving the standard destruction in its wake. It was so fierce, individuals on the island tied their kids to timber to maintain them from being blown away. When the storm was over, the island had been reduce in two. The brand new go was known as – what else- Hurricane Move.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 known as “Yesteryear I Lived In Paradise.”Caladesi Island and the opposite islands that make up the state park are very near Paradise.Maybe one cause for the fantastic seashores is that this park can solely be accessed by boat. The state supplies a ferry from close by Honeymoon Island State Park or you should utilize your individual boat.