Nature Videos

Myakka River State Park & Deep Hole 4K Cinematic Nature Video

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Deep Hole

I began my morning hiking out to Deep Hole. This is an area where hundreds of alligators will come to for the warm waters in the Winter. I hiked out in March and was told before I went that the gators this time of year would show up in numbers as the weather warmed up throughout the day. When I arrived, I found a number of them but not in the hundreds that I had hoped. The hike out was incredible. First, the park limits the amount of people to 30 hikers a day. Get there early so you can get in. I was at the entrance at 7:45am (gates open at 8am) and there were already cars in line. Pay to get in and make an immediate left once you clear the check-in booth. There’s a parking lot you can park in and then walk back over to the booth. You’ll need to fill out paperwork (sign your life away) incase the worst happens on your hike out. You’ll then need to drive out to the location and enter a gate code so you can get it. You’ll get your gate code from the booth at the main entrance of the park.

The Hike To Deep Hole

You’ll start out hiking along a dirt road that goes for about 2.2 miles. Mostly, the road is made up of sugar sand. You can stay on this road if you want, but I cut through the woods as I was told I would have an opportunity to see different types of wildlife this way. There is no clear path and in most cases, you’ll be creating your own way along the banks of the Lower Myakka Lake. Keep an eye out for alligators along the way as they come up from the water and lay in the grass. I found the grass to be tall so I had to hike slower. I averaged 1 mile per hour on foot. You’ll be hiking between the shoreline (sometimes on it) so watch out for alligators in the water as well.

Eventually, you’ll need to cut back through the woods to get back onto the road. I found there was cell service that far out so I used Google Maps in satelite mode to check when to cut back over.

Once you cut through the woods and end up back on the road, you’ll take that until the road ends. Continue straight until you reach the opening and make a sharp left. From there, you’ll walk straight out to Deep Hole. There are no barriers, fences, etc. You’ll be walking up to 50+ alligator. Use common sense. As a photographer/videographer, I always give wildlife plenty of distance while I’m filming.

There are few spots of shade on the way out and on the way back in. Make sure to wear hiking shoes and bring plenty of water. I spent at least an hour at Deep Hole filming the wildlife. That included: black vultures, alligator & osprey that would dive into the water to catch fish. It was a great hike and adventure.

Myakka Outpost & Airboat Ride

Once back at the park, I drove 3 miles out to the Myakka Outpost and grabbed lunch before getting on the airboat ride. The airboat ride lasts about an hour and is a lot of fun. When we reached the island, I saw 2 large alligator laying on the ground and when they heard the airboat and we got close, they jumped up and ran into the water. I was able to capture that and it’s in my video. I recommend it highly.

Canopy Walkway & Tower

As I was leaving, I found the area where there’s a quick hike to the Canopy Walkway & Tower. I hiked back, not far, and came to a tall structure where I took the stairs up and walked across the unbalanced plank. You’ll see this in my video as the last scene. When you complete the walkway, climb to the top of the tower and the view is amazing.

My Thoughts

Overall, the park was very busy on a Friday and I can see why. There is so much to do here. I had a great time, saw a ton of wildlife and had a great boat ride.


Myakka River State Park

13208 State Road 72
Sarasota, FL 34241

Hours

Every day 8am to sunset

Entrance Fee

$6 Per Vehicle (2-8 people)
$4 Per Vehicle (1 person)

Park Amenities

  • Airboat & Tram Tours (Wildlife Tours)
  • Birdwalk
  • Boat Ramp
  • Canoes, Kayaks & Bicycles
  • Canopy Walkway & Tour
  • Fishing
  • Food
  • Horse Trails
  • Log Cabins
  • Nature Trails
  • Lower Myakka Lake
  • Park Programs
  • Picnic Areas
  • Primitive Campsites
  • Reservations
  • Swimming
  • Visitor Center

Website

Myakka River State Park

List of Scenes

Scene 1 – Field (Next to Deep Hole)
Scene 2 – Path along Lower Myakka Lake
Scene 3 – Lower Myakka Lake
Scene 4 – Black Vultures
Scene 5 – Prairie & Dead Tree
Scene 6 – Palm Trees
Scene 7 – Palm Trees
Scene 8 – Trees & Prairie
Scene 9 – Pine Tree
Scene 10 – Small Alligator
Scene 11 – Osprey Catching A Fish At Deep Hole
Scene 12 – Lower Myakka Lake
Scene 13 – Flower
Scene 14 – Time Lapse of Deep Hole
Scene 15 – Scrub
Scene 16 – Plant
Scene 17 – Scrub & Pine Tree
Scene 18 – Road Leaving Deep Hole
Scene 19 – Scrub & Pine Tree
Scene 20 – Upper Myakka Lake
Scene 21 – Egret Hunting
Scene 22 – Wave Beside Airboat
Scene 23 – Time Lapse From Airboat
Scene 24 – Alligator Swimming By Airboat
Scene 25 – Birds Flying Above Airboat
Scene 26 – Alligator Running Into Lake
Scene 27 – Time Lapse On Airboat
Scene 28 – Canopy Walkway


Equipment Used

  • Sony FDR-AX100
  • IPhone X
  • Manfrotto Tripod

Software Used

  • Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Color Grading or Luts

  • None (SOOC)


Christopher Berry

Christopher Berry spends his time photographing wildlife and nature. He spent 2 years in high school studying forestry (Gainesville, FL) and is currently studying to be an Advanced Master Naturalist at the University of Florida. His mission is to inspire others to get outside and learn.

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