Starkey Wilderness Park and Preserve. So Local Pasco Podcast, October 11th, 2016.

First thing…HOW ABOUT THIS WEATHER?!

Favorite time of year to be out on the front porch, under our magnolia tree.
Favorite time of year to be out on the front porch, under our magnolia tree.

It IS my favorite time of year.  In the podcast, I talk a little about a great way to experience our local waters…Renting a pontoon boat!  Manatees are starting to move into our inshore waters, now, and dolphins are very active just outside the mouth of the Cotee River…Renting a pontoon for a day gives you direct, close access to see them.  We rent from Gill Dawg, and Sunset Landing Marina.  Both are locally owned businesses run by folks that value our excellent local waters…They’ve built their livelihoods around sharing it with you!  Of course, there are other great ways to get out there, including kayaks, canoes, and Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs)…But the pontoons carry up to 8-10 people, are stable, and have plenty of deck space for kids.  They are fairly easy to operate, as well.

The pontoon boats available at the Gill Dawg rental shack...Sunset Landing has them, as well.  Both spots are within minutes of the Gulf, on the beautiful Pithlachascotee River.
The pontoon boats available at the Gill Dawg rental shack…Sunset Landing has them, as well. Both spots are within minutes of the Gulf, on the beautiful Pithlachascotee River.

Now, we’re going to move further up the river…And talk about the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, in New Port Richey.

Here are some photos of the Gathering of the Tribe from last weekend:

Ranger kiosk at the park entrance
Ranger kiosk at the park entrance
The huge meadow/prairie at the park entrance is thick with protected gopher tortoises.  Their burrows shelter many species, including other endangered Florida species.
The huge meadow/prairie at the park entrance is thick with protected gopher tortoises. Their burrows shelter many species, including other endangered Florida species.
The Cotee River runs through the park...And you can access the Anclote River on some hiking trails.
The Cotee River runs through the park…And you can access the Anclote River on some hiking trails.

The camping areas are canopied by massive live oak trees…There are cabins and tent sites.

Cabin interior: Plain, but clean and VERY cheap!  $35 per night, and they sleep EIGHT.
Cabin interior: Plain, but clean and VERY cheap! $35 per night, and they sleep EIGHT.
Each cabin has a fire ring, and AMPLE firewood is on hand.
Each cabin has a fire ring, and AMPLE firewood is on hand.
All of the Gathering of the Tribe activities were in the cabin camping area of the Starkey Wilderness Park
All of the Gathering of the Tribe activities were in the cabin camping area of the Starkey Wilderness Park

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Laura and her sister enjoying "nature" on their phones!  :-P
Laura and her sister enjoying “nature” on their phones! 😛

Wildlife is rich in the park…Our friend Joe Stiles found these critters right in the camping area:  A Spadefoot toad, a ground skink, and a reddish brown toad we could not identify:

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Click the map to visit the park website.
Click the map to visit the park website.

Please visit and utilize this SO LOCAL natural treasure!  You won’t be disappointed.

~Greg


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