Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hidden Florida Treasures

I've been browsing through my digital photos trying to decide which ones to print and scrapbook. In the process, I've realized that Florida has a variety of things to offer. Florida is known for it's beaches. But, it has a lot of rivers too. These places are off the beaten path. Florida has some spectacular state parks. I suspect not a lot of people know about these gems. I'm fortunate to live near some beautiful places that are just day trips. I'm a state park junkie. I love them. They are usually well maintained and absolutely breathtaking.

I took the following photos in 2004 at O'Leno State Park.

"Located along the banks of the scenic Santa Fe River, a tributary of the Suwannee River, the park features sinkholes, hardwood hammocks, river swamps, and sandhills. As the river courses through the park, it disappears underground and reemerges over three miles away in the River Rise State Preserve. One of Florida's first state parks, O'Leno was first developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The suspension bridge built by the CCC still spans the river."

The Civilian Conservation Corps did a lot of incredible work that is still standing today. It was President Roosevelt's way of putting men to work during the great depression. I hope our current President finds a way of adding beauty while benefiting our economy. The stone work is astounding. I see it in a lot of the parks that the CCC helped build. These men weren't afraid of hard work. They worked hard for their families. It is what built America. We, as Americans, need to remember that and not let their hard work be for naught.

This is where the river disappears. It appears again at River Rise Preserve.