Thursday at Buccaneer State Park was a little chilly, but sunny. We were thrilled to have sunshine. At lunch, we hiked from the campground to the Pirates Alley Nature Trail. At 1.5mi, the Nature Trail was a maze of trails through the woods and along the marsh. It had a nice pier with a picnic table on it, overlooking the marsh. We saw lots of herons, egrets, ibises and other shore birds, hunting in the marsh. It was beautiful! Throughout the wood were fabulous red and orange, spotted, fairy mushrooms, which I loved. We did the the park’s lone trail, Thursday and Friday. The second day, between the rains, I saw what I, initially, thought was a fox through the woods. I called Wiley back to see it. Turned out it was a small red, wild pig, we could see clearly through the underbrush. We were so excited! The puppies smelled it, but didn’t see it. The little piggie stared at us for a couple of minutes, then ran off. The entire wood was all torn up, so we knew there were a lot more, where that one came from.
Both Thursday and Friday, after the nature trail, we hiked down past the water park, to the tiny beach area across the street from the park entrance. Nigel played ball and Pippa hunted. Friday on the beach, Pippa was hunting and dove snout first under a concrete block, which looked like it would hurt. She was focused and unwavering, as she stayed on whatever it was the entire time, we were down there. At one point Nigel abandoned his ball, curious as to what she was so fixed on. Determining, there was not anything, he returned to his ball. When Pippa finally emerged, she had a thin, long scratch on her snout. Poorest girl. She didn’t seem bothered by it. She is a dedicated huntress for sure, injured in her quest for the kill, that rarely ever happens. I admire her dedication and perseverance.
Thursday, after the beach, we walked past our campground loop to check out the, closed for the season, camp store. We were impressed by the facilities, we found. There was a nice wading pool, store, game room, and laundry. The park did have really nice amenities with the water park, pool, playground, new bathhouses, etc. It would be a fun place to come with the family if you happen to be in the area, but due to the small, sketchy beach, I would not recommend this as a destination.
Having exhausted the one trail and the questionable safety of the beach area, we tried to leave Buccaneer on Friday to go elsewhere for the night, but everything between there and our next campground was booked up, due to it being the weekend and the snowbirds. Oh, well. The following day, we were heading to acclaimed Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola. We were very much looking forward to going there after friends highly recommending it and reading about it on multiple Florida top campgrounds lists. Between that and the forecasted 60-70 degree weather predicted at our final stop before heading north, we were so ready. Grateful, after three weeks on the Gulf Coast, that we would finally get five days of the weather we had come down here for originally, right as we leave to head back through Georgia to South Carolina for Wiley’s meetings. Bring it, Florida!