Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Make a Run to Anastasia State Park

If you are  ever in Northeast Florida, you will not want to miss Anastasia State Park

The Park
Anastasia State Park is located on a peninsula just south of St. Augustine, the oldest European-established city and port in the continental United States.  The park includes more than 1,600 acres which feature a pristine beach, a tidal salt marsh and a maritime and upland hammock. 

Within the park you can swim, fish, windsurf, hike, canoe and kayak.  You can also camp in one of 139 campsites in the hammock forest, all of which have water/electric hookup, a picnic table and a fire ring. 

Anastasia State Park is designated as part of The Great Florida Birding Trail and visitors to the park can see a wide variety of birds including gulls, terns, great blue heron, spoonbills, opsrey, warblers, cardinals, robins and woodpeckers.  The park is also designated as part of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, a 1,515-mile sea kayaking trail that starts in Pensacola and wraps all the way around the State of Florida.

My Visit
We arrived Thursday early afternoon, checked in and set up our campsite which was located in the 5th of 6 campground loops.  After that, we enjoyed just checking out our campground loop (Ma always needs to know the location of the bathrooms) and relaxing at our campsite.  Ma, the Glam-ping Gourmet, made a delicious Asian Barbecue for dinner that evening (click HERE to check out her recipes) and everyone went to bed fairly early so we would be ready for a big day of exploring on Friday.




 Walking and Hiking
After a quick breakfast on Friday, we ventured out to the Ancient Dunes Nature Trail.  The trail leads through a series of old sand dunes that were formed by wind and waves back when the ocean extended farther inland.  Through the process of life, death and decay the sand was enriched over time so that now a forest stands where only once sea oats survived.


Since the Nature Trail is only a 30 minute hike, we headed down the park road towards the beach.  Dogs are not allowed on the beach in Florida State Parks, so I stayed with Ma at one of the picnic pavilions while Daddy-dog, Uncle Robbie and Uncle Mike walked the boardwalk to the beach.  They came back with beautiful photos for me.


Wildlife Sighting
As my "boys" took a short break with me under the picnic pavilion, Uncle Mike said "what the heck is that over there?".  Ma and Uncle Mike went to check it out and Holy Dog!  They found a Gopher Tortoise and he was "on the run".  Check him out:



In Florida, the Gopher Tortoise is on the Endangered Species List as a Threatened Species due to loss of habitat.  They live in large burrows in dry habitats and eat a variety of vegetation.  We were lucky to see him.

We headed back to our campsite and relaxed.  Then Ma, my Glam-ping Gourmet cooked us a pawesome dinner of Southern-style Barbecue Pork, roasted sweet potatoes and greens (you can check out the delicious recipes HERE).

Canoeing
Saturday was "on the water" day so after breakfast we piled in Uncle Robbie's truck (with the canoe on top) and headed out to the boat launch.  If you do not have your own canoe, you can rent one (or a kayak or a paddleboard) at the Outfitter in the park.  Daddy-dog and Uncle Mike rented a canoe while Ma and I went with Uncle Robbie in his canoe.

We headed out on the "Salt Run".  This is a salt marsh; a coastal wetland that is flooded and drained by salt water brought in by the tides.  They are intertidal habitats that are essential for refuge and nursery habitat for many fish species.

Immediately we could see the St. Augustine lighthouse in the distance.  The current lighthouse is the second lighthouse to stand in this area, having been built after the first one was threatened by erosion.  It was completed in 1874 and rises 165 feet above sea level.


We paddled all the way up to the lighthouse, meandering around the Salt Run marshes where we saw lots of herons and egrets.  I was having a great time in the canoe!


Wildlife Sighting
Then once again...Uncle Mike says "what the?  Look over there!"  We did and I could not believe my eyes!  There was a pod of three dolphins swimming and playing in the Salt Run.  Daddy-dog and Uncle Mike paddled right up to them to get a closer look.  Check it out:



Anastasia State Park was a fabulous camping trip!  The park is pretty and quiet and filled with a variety of wildlife and activities.  I give Anastasia State Park 4 out of 4 dog bones for being peaceful and fun with great opportunities to wildlife watch. 

Be sure to make a run for Anastasia State Park!

Anastasia State Park * 1340A A1A South * St. Augustine, Florida 32080


** Ma's Glam-ping recipes mentioned in this post can be cooked at home as well as on a camping trip. The links provided will take you to those recipes on my other blog, Taste Tested by the Dog.


63 comments:

  1. Golden LOVE you guys got lights on your tent. PAWsome that it is dog friendly. You are good to stay on the canoe ... I would have jumped cause I rather swim. How COOL! to see dolphins. Fabulous weekend "glamping" :-) Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    1. BOL! We love the ambiance of the Christmas lights. Oh I would never purposefully jump off the canoe, Sugar. This terrier is not into swimming!

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  2. Thanks Oz, it is grand to be in the great outdoors - we love the dolphins - you know our Mum loves them and our house is full of them :) Licks and barks, Levi & Lenox

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    1. Woof-hoo, Levi and Lenox! So glad you are finally on here. I knew Aunt Linda would love the dolphins!!! It's too bad she didn't come camping with us.

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  3. What an awesome trip!!!
    Urban hounds

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  4. Looks like you had a great time, I loved the video of the dolphins.

    Sheba.

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    1. The dolphins were cool! They swim so fast...they are there one minute and gone the next!

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  5. Oz pal, you always have the best adventures!

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  6. Oz pity you weren't allowed on the beach but the rest looked fabulous and we loved the sight of the dolphins at the end. Nice one and glad you all had a great time. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. It was a fabulous park! The dolphins were amazing...and I loved the Gopher Tortoise too!

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  7. That looks so fun!
    Nola

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  8. I love your pictures! What a great looking place. And I am off to check out the recipes.

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    1. Thank you, Roxy! Ooh, they may make you hungry! BOL

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  9. Hi Oz! That place looks AWESOME! We are glad you had such a grand adventure. :)

    P.S. - that Gopher tortoise is FAST! LOL!

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    1. Thank you! And I know...we were so surprised to see that Gopher Tortoise RUN!!!!

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  10. I LOVE the St. Augustine area. Doesn't look like you got to spend much time in the city. Did you get over there?

    Christie from lifewithbeagle.com

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    1. We love the area too! We didn't get to spend any time in the city this visit. Maybe next time!

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  11. It looks like you had a pawsome adventure! I would have barked at the dolphins and tortoise! BOL!! That tortoise was running crazy fast! High Paw!
    Hugs,
    Pepper

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    1. It was running crazy fast! It ran at Ma at one point and she screamed. Uncle Mike laughed at her saying "it's only a tortoise". BOL

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    2. BOL!!! I am still BOL!!! about that crazy fast tortoise! That video blows away my entire concept of the slow tortoise. BOL!! I think Mom would scream too if one was running right at her or me. BOL!!
      Hugs,
      Pepper

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  12. Looks like a great time, too bad dogs aren't allowed on the beach, but funny they can be in a canoe on the water...Americans have weird rules sometimes.

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    1. We do have weird rules sometimes. I would have loved to see the beach.

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  13. What an incredible camping trip Oz! You looked like you were having a blast in the photos! What's up with the "no dogs on beaches" rule though?! Pft, silly humans! Ooooo, must get Domeek to check out your Ma's glamping recipes...sound delicious!! :-D

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    1. Humans are dopey sometimes, I tell you. Oh those glamping recipes will make you hungry!!!

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  14. Wow, You look like you had a lot of fun!! I love stopping by your blog. Mum can't follow it (were from katescuddles.blogspot.co.uk) as she doesn't have blog loving but we do like reading it and checking by!!

    I love the picture with you and the Tounge picking out! Hehe, u look funny! :-)

    Cuddles,
    Kate @katescuddles.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hi there! I did have a lot of fun! It was a great adventure. I will have to stop by your blog and see if I can follow you!

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  15. What a great vacation you guys had! Seems like you all had tons of fun!!! <3

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  16. OMD that looked like a wonderful camping trip!! The food sounds yummy too!
    hugs
    Bailey, Hazel & Greta

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    1. Pugs...you need to meet us at a campsite so we can paw-ty!!!!

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  17. That video is pawesome! It's always so fun to see dolphins! We see them at the beach here sometimes - that never gets old! Looks like a great time. You are so brave, Oz, to get in the canoe. I'm not sure Rita would do that. I wish we could try camping with Rita, but I'm pretty sure she'd bark at every little sound.

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    1. Dolphins are quite amazing, Miss Jackie. It just made our trip...as did that crazy running tortoise! Rita would be fine...I am an extreme barker at times and I can camp just fine. The exhaustion sets in early...BOL

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  18. OMD! It looks like you really had some great fun. Maya & Pierson are envious. I have a feeling that if they had seen those dolphins, their excitement would have capsized our boat.

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    1. BOL...that is a chance anyone takes with a dog in the boat!

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  19. Oz that is so awesome! Dolphins and a tortoise! That looks like a wonderful place to visit. One of these days we're going to explore the rest of Florida (besides the Keys), and this park will be on our list. We're also very impressed by your Glamping! I have a feeling if mom and dad did it, it would not be glamping - they don't even cook that well with a full kitchen!

    Garth

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    1. Oh Garth, don't pick on your mom and dad. BOL If you came camping with us, my Ma would cook for everyone so no worries! You gotta check out all the neat places in Florida...some great places with amazing wildlife.

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  20. Awww! You guys did everything! Definitely looks like you guys took full advantage of your adventure! Canoeing and wilderness walks! Oh my! :)

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  21. Mom loves that Florida too.
    Benny & Lily

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  22. Your tent looks super festive! It looks like you guys had a great time in the park, which was beautiful, by the way :)

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  23. OMD! Thank you for this tour. Checked it out and Anastasia State Park just got put on the "wanna see when you decide to retire" list. They have RV slots!!!! Yippeeeeeeeee!

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    1. I know!! All campsites are RV ready...that's why we love camping in the State Parks...even in tents you can have electric! I sure hope you go someday. You will love it.

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  24. I don't often miss Florida. Almost never, in fact. But the wildlife I miss. Our house backed up to green space and we frequently had gopher turtles in the back yard. Drove the dogs nuts! Thanks for sharing! Made my day. :)
    www.dogtreatweb.com

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    1. So glad it did, Ms. Flea. Gopher Tortoises in the back yard?!? I would go nuts!

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  25. Thanks for sharing your fantastic adventure on the opposite side of the country from Cascadia with us, Oz! What amazing wildlife... we rarely have fun sightings here. We're adding this park to our "wanna go" list!

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    1. Woof-hoo! I hope you get to go...you will love it!

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  26. What a grreat trip! You look like an old sea dog in that canoe.

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  27. Wow what a nice park, and you looked like you had great fun! Did you see lots of birds? I love to chase those! Love Dolly

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    1. Yes...lots of birds and squirrels!! Perfect for chasing!

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  28. Ringy Ringy Oh Oz Holy Cow I'm go glad to see you are still alive after biting the wicked witch. And you are on such a wonder adventure. Why seeing those dolphins is magnificent. The park truly looks like a pristine place. Well did you get to see Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia herself??? I hear she is very elusive.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

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    1. No we did not see the Grand Duchess...she remains elusive, my pal.

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  29. what an exciting adventure! looks like you had loads of terrier fun.
    wags, bailey unleashed

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  30. That's a great trip Oz and I'm most impressed with your canoeing prowess...Momz sez I'm going kayaking next week and I hope I'm as brave as you are

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  31. What a great trip, Oz! Not sure how I'd feel about canoeing...what with being a cat and all. heh, heh

    Hey! Thanx for visiting today...and yes! the red dot is the same one we got from Petco at BarkWorld! (we've never had a red dot before...can you believe it?!?)

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  32. You went hiking, canoeing AND you got to see dolphins?! Oz, you truly live the life! I am wishing so hard that we lived close enough to visit that park!


    Bunny

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  33. That looks like a great place and you got some wonderful pictures and video. That tortoise was sure moving fast. I did not know they could go that fast.

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Thank you for stopping by and leaving a pawprint. I enjoy reading each and every one!
Cairn cuddles,
Oz the Terrier