OLETA RIVER STATE PARK, Presentation

Audio File length: 2.19
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, my name’s Marcy, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to one of the Wonders of the World: Oleta River State Park.

Oleta River State Park is the largest urban park in Florida, measuring over 16 hectares, and it is one of the best places to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is the exact opposite of the lively, dynamic buzz of Miami Beach, guaranteeing peace and tranquility among the mangrove forests and the graceful lagoons.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you won’t find plenty to do on your own or with friends, in Oleta River State Park. First of all, you can rent a bike and ride along over two kilometers of cycle lanes, or almost 16 kilometers of dirt tracks, depending on whether you prefer a road bike or mountain bike. You can also rent a canoe and explore the 1,200-meter route, as the original inhabitants of the place might have done: this is how the natives used to cross the Oleta River estuary several centuries before the birth of Christ.

Once you reach the little mangrove island, you can watch eagles in flight. In the water, you’ll also have a good chance of spotting a porpoise, or if you’re really lucky, a manatee, one of the oddest aquatic mammals in Florida, now unfortunately an endangered species. Make sure you don’t miss the chance to take a swim in the waters near the sandy beach that stretches for about 440 meters in this paradise of natural vegetation.

If you look across the horizon towards the city, you’ll notice the huge skyscrapers that characterize the Miami skyline. Take a moment to imagine the bears, wolves, fallow deer, panthers and alligators that once roamed freely here.

 

Let me leave you with an interesting fact: the Florida manatee belongs to the walrus family. A docile, gentle animal, it feeds mainly on mangroves, aquatic plants and a number of types of seaweed found in abundance here. Manatees are able to eat up to 50 kilos of food a day!

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