a floridays journey

a floridays journey

Trip 14 – Midway Campground

Date:Nov 21 – 26, 2023
What we learned:When asking for kayaking river condition information make sure it is from someone who been there recently
Would we go back:yes
Website:Midway Campground

Thanksgiving 2023 was spent in southwest Florida. Deciding late to go away we could only get into Midway campground in Big Cypress. It has electricity but no water, which is fine for us. I drove the Jeep with the kayaks and Wayne drove Floridays. We left after mid-day on Tuesday and arrived to the campground in the dark. This was fine as the campground is paved and the spots are wide. Only issue were the bugs at night. They were everywhere.

Wednesday we stopped at the Big Cypress visitor center and they said the water was high and Turner River and it was not good. We decided to go to Collier Seminole State Park and kayak there. The canoe trail is 13.5 mile loop which was way too long to do and we got a later start. We kayaked to Mud Bay about 3 miles and hung out for a bit watching an osprey hunt for lunch. The trail was wide and then narrow with mangroves on each side. The tide was coming in as we were leaving and going out as we headed back, but it was not anything that was undoable. We only saw 2 other kayakers on the way back. When we were almost back the Cats on the Water tours were starting their excursion. Some boats do not know what a no wake zone is. It might be nice to get a personal tour so we could go further into the backcountry to find wildlife. On the way back to camp we stopped in Everglades City at Grimm’s Stone Crab to pick up some stone crab claws.

Thursday, Thanksgiving, we went west again this time to Marco Island to kayak to Kice Island. The marina was damaged in Hurricane Ian and is now only allowing paddle craft and once it is rebuilt no commercial businesses will be allowed. We had the park to ourselves. The payment machine was broken so it was also free. It is about 1.5 mile paddle straight across to Kice Island. I brought my camera this time and figured I would take more pictures than picking up shells. Well I did a little of both. We spent 6 hours on the island and water getting back to the ramp at 4:15. The park closes at 5:00. After doing a quick towelette wash down and change we were off to dinner.

Friday we stopped at western Big Cypress visitor center and spoke with a ranger that had just canoed Turner river and he said it was doable. I guess you have to talk to someone who knows. He said we would just have to duck going under the bridge and it was a little tight in the mangrove tunnels for a canoe but a kayak would be fine. We decided to give it a try. We ended up doing Turner River 2 days in a row. Friday the mosquitos were really bad and we turned around 1/2 way through the second tunnel. Saturday it was cooler and the wind had picked up so the mosquitoes were not bad, we also tried different bug spray which helped as well. We went through both tunnels and out into the 10,000 islands / Everglades. Another towelette bath and dinner at Camilla Street Grill in Everglades City topped off the day with great food.

Sunday we stopped by Corkscrew Swamp on our way home. I just love this place. We did not see much but the boardwalk is just really good. Taking the back roads home meant we had no traffic so we were still relaxed when we arrived home.

I may be swamped out, who am I kidding. I do not think I will ever be swamped out. I just love it.

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