00/2015 Alligator Amblers Meetup Website

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201611 November Activity Calendar


Thursday, November 17.  Monthly MeetingPlease note our new location for meetings below. Ambler Member Len Shivok will give a brief photo presentation on sights and experiences he encountered on a number of game viewing safaris in Africa.  Len’s “Scenes of Africa” will include photos from Chobe Park in Botswana, Maasai Mara and Samburu in Kenya, Kruger Park in South Africa and the Serengeti in Tanzania.  Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Namibia will also be highlighted. Our new location for our monthly meetings will be in the “fireplace” room at Perkins Pancake House in Estero, Florida. Near Miromar Outlets, 20320 Grande Oak Shoppes Blvd, Estero FL 33928-7663  (239) 498-8773   I-75 to Exit 123, Corkscrew Road.  Then east on Corkscrew Road.  Left (north) onto Ben Hill Griffin Parkway. Then right into The Shoppes at Grand Oakes.  Perkins is to the right.  6:30 pm Social, 7.00 meeting    Come early for dinner before the meeting.

Saturday, November 19, 2016.   8:45 am to 11:30 am.  Hike the CREW Marsh Trails, 4600 CR 850 (Corkscrew Road), Immokalee, FL  34142.  Leisure to moderate 3 to 4 mile hike.  Public invited, limit of 12 people.  Hike the Pine Flatwoods, Hammock and Pop Ash Slough trails.  Stop at the Seasonal Pond and Observation Tower to view the 5,000 acre marsh.  At this time of year, the trails are expected to be wet in some places, and the Pop Ash Slough trail will probably be muddy.  Bring water, sunscreen, bug repellant, a hat and maybe a change of clothes.  A walking stick comes in handy if the water gets deep.   Meet at the Marsh Trails trailhead on Corkscrew Road, approximately 18 miles east of I-75 (exit 123).  Look for the brown “CREW Marsh Trails” sign (4 miles beyond the brown “CREW Cypress Dome Trails sign).  Arrive by 8:45 am, the hike will depart at 9:00 am sharp. Optional: post-hike lunch at a local restaurant. Learn more about CREW at www.crewtrust.org. RSVP:   Len @ lenhannas@gmail.com

201612 December Activity Calendar


Friday, December 2, 2016 – Sunday, December 4, 2016   Peace River Canoe/Kayak Campout.  Location is Peace River “Thousand Trails Campground north of Zolfo Springs, FL on east side of US 17.  Arrive late Friday afternoon, set up camp.  Saturday morning shuttle to start point and paddle down Peace River to campsite.  Sunday morning shuttle to different start point or depart for home (as desired).  FTA members only.  Limit 10 watercraft.  Difficulty is moderate. Thousand Trails is a private campground so all reservations need to go through us.  RSVP  Chuck 239-398-3820 or  flswampeagle@aol.com or Betty 239-298-2724   wilgoson@aol.com   CANCELLED, will reschedule. Let us know if you are interested in a future date.

Saturday, December 3, 2016  Big Cypress Swamp Festival, 10 AM to 5:00 PM for regular schedule.  7:00 PM to 8:30 PM for Starry Nights presentation, weather permitting. 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141. This annual event sponsored by the Big Cypress includes music, presentations and exhibits.  Speakers include the son of the author of Florida is a Land Remembered and Clyde Butcher, the famous Everglades photographer.  We will be sharing a display table with the Happy Hoofers (Fort Lauderdale) and Big Cypress (Miami) chapters of the Florida Trail Association.  If you can, come by to help us with this effort for an hour or so.  Visit the other display tables and demonstrations and be sure to sign up online for the auditorium presentations at the Big Cypress Website below.  Space could be limited for the presentations. For more up to date information, see


Friday, December 9, 2016  Bob Degross Farewell Party.  Bob Degross is a 25 year veteran of the National Park Service and has been a big help to us while serving at the Big Cypress National Preserve. He has accepted a promotion to be the superintendent of Voyageurs National Park in International Falls, Minnesota. A different world, for sure. We will miss Bob here.  Please help send him off at 6 PM at the Bayfront Inn 5th Avenue, 1221 5th Avenue South, Naples, Florida. Food and beverage available for purchase. Bring a story to share about Bob, or any outdoor adventure in either Florida or the Minnesota woods and lakes.  If you can find one, bring a gag card appropriate for someone who will be going to a very, very cold place.

Sunday, December 11th, 9 am to 1 PM.  Paddleboard at Tigertail Beach, 490 Hernando Beach, Marco Island, FL Paddleboard in secluded lagoon at entrance to Tigertail Beach.  Cost is $45.00 for four hours.  Paddleboards, safety equipment, and instruction provided by vendor.  You may bring your own paddleboard if you prefer.  Restrooms and outdoor restaurant are on site.  This is a great place to learn to paddleboard.  No experience necessary.  The location is sheltered from large waves.  You can paddleboard, then walk over to the gulf beach, then paddleboard some more  We will have a pop-up shelter set up for breaks.  Bring your own beach chair and cooler.  Collier County residents (with beach sticker) can park free.  Cars without a Collier County beach sticker will pay an $8.00 parking fee.  Signup on Meetup or contact Carl Kepford at carl@tenthousandislands.net or 239.253.4255.

Saturday, December 31, 2016 – January 1, 2017   NEW YEAR’S EVE CAMPOUT    at Mariposa, 1721 Rock Road, Naples.  Come for the evening or campout with us.  Plan to come about 4pm, but you can come earlier if you want to get set up earlier.  Tents, RVs, vans welcome.  Bring a dish to share for the Saturday evening meal, bring a lawn chair, beverage of choice and camping gear.  Have dinner, gather around the campfire and ring in the New Year.  The hosts will furnish breakfast on New Year’s Day.  Public invited, Leisure activity.  RSVP to Betty Wilson 239-298-2724 wilgoson@aol.com or Chuck 239-398-3820 flswampeagle@aol.com  (See the January activities calendar for a bike ride and walk on New Year’s Day.)

201701 January Activity Calendar


Sunday, January 1, 9 am,  Bike Ride in Bird Rookery Preserve, Meet at 1721 Rock Road, Naples, 34120 and caravan to Bird Rookery.  Bike Ride on back roads in Bird Rookery Preserve.  Bring your “Fat Tire” bike and ride on old tram roads.  The grass and sand surface is not suitable for “Road Bikes”; Hybrids and mountain bikes only.  Bring water, lunch or snacks.  There will be a 6 mile rute and a 14 mile route.  Public invited, Moderate rating.  RSVP to Chuck 239-398-3820  email  flswampeagle@aol.com  or Betty 239-298-2724 email wilgoson@aol.com

Sunday, January 8, 9 am, Hike Estero Bay Preserve State Park, 4940 West Broadway, Estero, Fl  off US 41 in Estero.  Leisure 2 1/2 to 3 mile walk through scrub and salt marsh viewing gopher tortoise’s, mangroves, fiddler crabs and flowers:  bring water, sunscreen, hat and an extra pair of shoes to change into after the walk as we will be traversing some water and mud. Please arrive 15 minutes early, departure at 9 am.  RSVP JoAnn phone 239-495-7644  email  joannl1960@yahoo.com  or Sharon  239-357-4418  sharonsuhar@yahoo.com

201702 February Activity Calendar


Saturday, February 18, 2017, 10 AM to 3 PM, Festival in the Woods at Picayune Strand.  Sabal Palm Trailhead, 457 Sabal Palm Road, Naples, FL (3.3 Miles East of Collier Blvd on Sabal Palm Road) Sponsored by the Florida Forest Service.  Many activities including guided hikes by forest service biologists and foresters, lectures, and bicycle tours (all equipment furnished) led by Wes Wilkins, Master Naturalist.  Children’s activities will be available as well.  We will have a booth at this event.  If you can, volunteer for an hour or so at the booth.  For more details about the event, see http://www.freshfromflorida.com/News-Events/Event-Calendar/Recreation/Festival-in-the-Woods-at-Picayune-Strand-Collier-County

Saturday, February 18th, 2017, 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM. CREW Concert and Silent Auction, Riverside Park, Bonita Springs, FL. Come and support the Crew Trust Organization and all they do to preserve critical wetlands in SW Florida.  The band Chain Reaction will be back to recreate the greatest hits of both Journey and Styx.  Silent auction purchases include boat cruises, swamp walks, and other unique natural experiences.  Tickets are $15.00 in advance and $20.00 at the show.  Our chapter will have tickets available.  See Len Shivok for more details.  For up to date information about the event, see


Saturday and Sunday,From 8 am, February 25 to 4 PM, Sunday February 26, 2017  Swamp Cabbage Festival, Barron Park, Desoto Avenue, Labelle, FL.  Come visit historic Labelle, enjoy the festivities, and stop by and say hello to members of the Fisheating Creek subchapter of the Florida Trail Association who will have a booth at the event.  Activities include lots of live music, clogging, a parade, a fishing tournament, a 5k run, a car show, a rodeo, river cruises, and a swamp cabbage booting demonstration.  Likely, a hike or bicycle ride or kayak trip sponsored by either our chapter or the Fisheating Creek subchapter will take place nearby.  Stay tuned for more details.  For up to date information about the Swamp Cabbage Festival, see http://labelleswampcabbagefestival.org/