As the ballots roll in and news outlets are updating their data by the minute, it may be tempting to take it all in at once. But there is an alternative: Step away from the chaos and recharge by taking a hike in Oscar Scherer State Park or Myakka River State Park.
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey's Oscar Scherer is a treasure spot for hikers and bikers. Nestled between neighborhoods, highways and major thoroughfares, Oscar Scherer provides a much-needed outdoor break, and serves as a preserve for much of the coast's fragile wildlife. Whether you are in need of a brisk walk or want to go on a wildlife-searching adventure, Oscar Scherer is the place to be.
1843 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey
The park is open from 8 a.m. to sundown 365 days a year. Admission is $5 per vehicle with two to eight guests, and $4 per vehicle with single guests. Entrance is $2 for annual individual entrance pass holders.
What to Bring
Wear hiking or sturdy tennis shoes to walk the trail. Bring a backpack with water, sunscreen, a hat and a snack. If biking, bring your bike and helmet.
What to Expect
When you arrive, a ranger will suggest the best routes to take and offer a trail map and animal list before you head out. There are more than six marked trails and 15 miles to explore, with numbered benches along the way. There are 10 miles of biking trail that connect to the Legacy Trail. You may see a Florida scrub jay, a small, blue bird native to the area, or tortoises, white-tailed deer and rabbits.
Myakka River State Park
Myakka, meanwhile, has a 38-mile hiking loop taking hikers through shady trails lined with oak trees and palm hammocks. The park also offers kayaking, boat tours and several other amenity opportunities to unwind and recharge.
13208 State Road 72, Sarasota
The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. Admission is $6 per vehicle with two to eight people, and $4 for a single occupant vehicle. Admission is $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists and those who are annual pass holders. If you are taking a tour, tours depart at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Adult tour tickets are $20 and children tour tickets are $12.
What to Bring
When you are hiking, bring along a map provided at the ranger station, a backpack, water and hiking or closed-toed shoes. Bring insect repellant for the areas near the water, and bring a hat and sunscreen if hiking in the middle of the day.
What to Expect
When hiking the 38-mile loop at Myakka River State Park, you may spot gators swimming in nearby lakes and rivers, or spot birds flying overhead or wild boar that inhabit the surrounding wooded areas. Trails have signs along the way indicating your distance and include bench markers where you can take breaks. If you are looking to beat the heat, take a trip to the concession stand for a cool drink and sweet treat.