Saturday, April 26, 2008

Emerson Point Preserve on Snead Island

(Click on the photos for larger images.)

This view is from the observation tower. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is in the background and a boardwalk through the marsh is in the foreground.

Boardwalk through mangrove marsh.

Blanket flower.

Wild pointsettia.

I was impressed with the variety of wildflowers.

View of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge near the head of the Beach Trail. There are a lot of small beaches in nooks and crannies among shade trees along the Beach Trail. It's a quiet, secluded setting. You feel like you're on your own private beach, even though there are other people along the trail.

Fishing off the Beach Trail.

A mangrove tree growing in salt water. The roots look like stilts. Mangroves are island builders. Sand and debris get caught up in the roots. Material accumulates to support other plant life, and voila! The island gets bigger.

Strangler fig. These trees seed as parasites on the bark of other trees, usually palm trees. The roots grow and touch soil. The strangler fig eventually covers the host tree with root shoots. Creepy, isn't it?

This was an interesting place to explore. There is no admission fee. I think it is one of the best kept secrets in Manatee County. It's not on any of my maps, and there's scarcely any information on the web about Emerson Point Preserve. I thought something interesting might be out here because there is an Indian mound noted on a map and it looked like there might be some cool sandbars or beaches at the point of Snead Island.

The Portavent Temple Mound is at the first parking lot near the entrance. Stop there to get map of the park and see the ancient Indian mounds. The Portavent Temple Mound is the largest Indian mound in the Tampa Bay area.

Directions to Emerson Point Preserve from Palmetto, Florida:
Go west on 10th Street West, cross the bridge to Snead Island, right on Tarpon Avenue, then left on 17th Street West which ends at the Preserve entrance.

1 comment:

  1. Scott Walvoord12:21 PM

    Great post! We love Emerson Point and go every chance we get. This place was our daughter's first beach experience. Thanks for the great pictures!