I am midway through my week’s vacation and enjoying every minute of it. Each day I’ve tried to do a little something and tomorrow is my day to walk at Robinson Preserve.
This is our local jewel of a nature preserve located in the far northwest corner of Bradenton, Florida. When I first moved here, this piece of land was still mostly empty farmland. In fact, my son’s Cub Scout den had a totally awesome bonfire back there one night, which resulted in the local police helicopter flying by to see what was going on!
These days, there are no campfires, but the area has been restored to its former natural beauty as a coastal marsh area. Invasive plants have been removed, allowing native plants and animals to thrive once again. I often see fiddler crabs, egrets, herons, and various schools of fish, along with vultures and the occasional bald eagle.
One of the highlights of walking the Preserve, at least for me, is climbing the tower. If you’ve somehow never heard of Florida before, you night not realize how ridiculously flat it is. Makes a pancake look mountainous. At least when you get as far south as Bradenton is. So the tower affords an unusual opportunity to be outside and still see off in the distance. From the top deck one can see beyond the Manatee River, out onto Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, connecting Manatee County with St. Petersburg in Pinellas County.
If you travel to Florida, or even if you live down here, make a point of visiting this jewel. It’s free, you can bring a picnic lunch, and as long as you can walk, wheel, or paddle, you’ll find the trails easily accessible. Come see what natural Florida really looks like!