Thursday, March 19, 2015

Beverly Hills–Not California, Florida!

While planning my time in Florida I read about the Crystal River area and decided that I wanted to visit.  I ended up staying at Sandy Oaks RV resort in Beverly Hills from Feb 5 – Feb 14, it was mostly Snow Birds but was ok.  The spots in the back were best, but of course I was in the front!

While there I wanted to ride the Withlacoochee State Trail.  The trail was only about 1/2 mile from where I was staying, but I didn’t want to ride to it as it was on a busy road.  I ended up riding it twice, once from the Inverness Trailhead and once from the trailhead just down from my RV park. It was a nice trail.

While there I learned about another trail, the Withlacoochee Bay Trail.  While this trail was fairly short (5 – 6 miles one way – depending on if you took the new 1 mile stretch), I really enjoyed it.  I went twice and rode it twice each time, so I got a good 20 – 24 mile ride in each time.  This trail runs along the side of the old Cross Florida Barge Canal.  For a while it is right beside the canal, then switches with a dirt road and goes thru the “scenic maritime hammock and salt marsh habitats”.  (I took this from a website about the trail).  One of the trips I wanted to stay beside the canal so I rode the dirt road and it was great.  Below is my bike on the dirt road beside the canal. And then scenery from the trail.




Below is the pavilion at the end of the trail. It ends at the Gulf of Mexico, so was a great place to relax.


On one of my visits, I watched some dolphins swim in and briefly up the canal.



In December, I got a new camera – a Lumix FZ-1000.  While it doesn’t quite have the zoom of my other camera it has some features I wanted  and is extremely fast.  One of the features is the panoramic shot. Below is the first time I had played with that setting.  This was taken from the pavilion at the end of the trail, with the canal on the right side and the Gulf of Mexico on left and center of the photo. 


Another panoramic shot, this one of the newer part of the trail. 


While in Beverly Hills, I took a boat ride on the Crystal River. It started by going by one of the mounds in the Crystal River Archaeological State Park.

bev_hills_crystal_river_archaeological state park

A small island --


We watched a couple of dolphins feeding --



One day, I was driving around just checking out the area and came across this --


It is a bit hard to read but the sign is another of those signs that I wonder about.  It says “Road Ends Here”, with an arrow pointing at where the water starts.  I would hope that any driver could see the road ends, but maybe some people need the sign!!

From here, I headed back to Fort Desoto in St. Petersburg. 

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