Wednesday, February 1, 2023 we drove 174 miles from Hart Springs Campground to Three Rivers State park in Sneads, Florida. Sneads is not far from Marianna, Florida where we stayed last January and enjoyed taking a tour of the Florida Caverns.
Sneads is where Florida meets the southwest corner of Georgia. Back in 1947 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the Jim Woodruff Dam and Lock. The dam is located at the confluence of the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers and above the Apalachicola River (hence the name of the state park; Three Rivers) The dam created Lake Seminole, a 37,500-acre lake that is surrounded by undeveloped natural areas and wildlife management areas. Certain properties around the lake were designated by the USACE to be for recreational use. One of these areas was leased to the State of Florida in 1955 and became Three Rivers State Park.
The state border line between Florida and Georgia runs through the middle of Lake Seminole, and standing on the shore of either side allows you to see the neighboring state’s shore. Boating, fishing, hiking, biking and camping (both tent and RV) make Three Rivers State Park a popular destination for locals and travelers.
Three Rivers is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. American Bald Eagles can be seen soaring above the tall pines, as well as a wide variety of migratory birds. The first day we arrived at Three Rivers we went hiking and found ourselves on a forest trail at sunset when thousands of birds in the trees began singing, chirping and cawing to signify the end of the day. Neither of us could ever recall being in a place where that happened, but it happened every evening while we were there. Various kinds of waterfowl populate the waters and shores of Lake Seminole, including ducks, coots and loons. During our walks along the shoreline we would see multiple flocks of coots dotting the lake’s surface.
As you may be able to tell from our photos, the park continues to recover from the effects of Hurricane Michael hitting the area back in 2018. Michael was the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Andrew in 1992, and it left a swath of destruction across the Florida panhandle area that remains to this day, almost 5 years later.
We spent all six days hiking the nearly 10 miles of trails within the park, as well as reading, writing and relaxing. During our hikes we saw eagles and various birds in the trees and skies above us, ducks and other waterfowl on the lake and its shores, and tracks of various wildlife such as deer (which we finally saw in person on the morning of our last day), raccoons, and what we were told by a volunteer were bobcat tracks when we showed him the photo.
On our last day we got up early in the morning and drove down to the eastern shore of Lake Seminole to watch the sunrise over the placid waters. While waiting, we were able to see the moon setting as well and Cindy took several photos. I included the best in our photos below.
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