The Joy of Doing Nothing: Don Pedro State Park Barrier Island, SW FL

Today we did nothing… one of the joys of being anchored and enjoying the surroundings!  David loves collecting sharks teeth.  I just love beachcombing, especially on the Southwest Florida Barrier Islands because there’s so much stuff to find.  Lots of shells, but today we enjoyed Don Pedro State Park, yet another barrier island state park accessible only by private boat or ferry.  For more on us collecting sharks teeth, click here. 

Don Pedro State Park beach.

Don Pedro State Park beach.

The morning dawned clear after a early morning rain shower rinsed the salt from yesterday’s sail off the boat.  But by the time we had a couple cups of coffee, the morning fog tried to roll in — unsuccessfully, but still making weird dark cloud patterns low to the ground.  Luckily, they dissipated and by the time we dropped the dinghy to go adventuring, it was clear, sunny and gorgeous.

I scored first, finding the first sharks tooth of the day ... at least I won something!

I scored first, finding the first sharks tooth of the day … at least I won something! See it partially covered in sand in the middle of the photo?

Don Pedro State Park is known more for fossil sharks teeth than shells, but we must have been distracted (more on that later) because we forgot our baggie to collect the sharks teeth.  No matter, David clearly wins.  I had 38 sharks teeth — mine are the collection at the bottom and David clearly has more.  I’m not going to count, we’ll just credit him with winning today’s round.

David's shark teeth haul is on top, mine on bottom.  I guess it's clear that he wins this round.  :(

David’s shark teeth haul is on top, mine on bottom. I guess it’s clear that he wins this round. 🙁

To visit Don Pedro State park, start looking for the tiny mangrove lined opening just after ICW Marker #33 — it’ll be on your port side as you’re proceeding north.  Obviously, if you’re coming south, it’ll be after Green ICW Marker #35 just south and start looking to starboard.  There’s a small sign, mostly buried in overgrown mangrove trees and an opening.  Follow the opening through to the very shallow lagoon and follow the marked channel to the park docks.  There are only 12 boat slips, first come first serve.  Dinghies and kayaks can slip behind the dock and pull up on the tiny beach or tie off.

Coming from the south on the ICW, start looking for the small mangrove opening to port immediately after marker #33.

Coming from the south on the ICW, start looking for the small mangrove opening to port immediately after marker #33.

The small mangrove channel leading to Don Pedro State Park

The small mangrove channel leading to Don Pedro State Park

The almost hidden sign.

The almost hidden sign.

Walk the short path to the picnic shelter, restrooms, nature trail and beach.  Enjoy!

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