Imagine having a park just about to yourselves and getting to park on the shallow bay or in a forested area with a covered picnic area to block the wind/sun and you have Goose Island State Park. We stayed directly on the water and it was overcast and cool throughout our stay. The area really reminded us of the Forgotten Coast of Florida.
We enjoyed having the place to ourselves and hiking the many trails and observing the abundant wildlife. We saw many small deer, a skunk, a road runner, a raccoon and numerous birds. The park reported that it is home to over 300 species of birds. We’ve really got to begin learning how to identify the different bird species because they are so many varieties everywhere we go. The pelicans were everywhere. They are so beautiful and remind us both of Louisiana.
The park is an angler’s paradise and we loved walking down to the pier and watching the boats come and go with large hauls of speckled trout, redfish, drum, and flounder. There is even a large lit 1,620 foot fishing pier that is very popular at night.
Don went for a walk one afternoon by himself and saw this huge fish that he says is either a carp or red fish. Later we went to the pier and the same fish came back. Interesting – there is a story in this somewhere.
The park is also known for its marsh area as it is a winter nesting area for the endangered whooping cranes migrating from Canada. The area is protected but the Park Rangers give walking tours of the marsh as part of their educational program. The number of whooping crane nesting pairs had gotten down into the double digits and are now in the hundreds.
The park is the home of a 1,000 year old coastal live oak called “Big Tree”. Can you imagine this tree has survived the Civil War battles, fires, and hurricanes?
An Outing for German Food
We’ve been thinking a lot about home and getting a little homesick. One of our old favorite things to do was to drive to Ponchatoula to a German Restaurant that is no longer there. Anyway we decided to make the hour long drive to Beeville to have lunch at Gasthaus Berliner Bear. This is a small restaurant run by a family from Berlin and if you are ever in the area check it out. Our diets our going to have to kick into gear after the holidays because we have had so much fun in the last six months experiencing the flavors from around the country.
In the park is a beach called Stinky Beach because in the fall the sea grass decomposes and get washed up on the beach. The wildlife love it.
The sun was just beginning to peek out from behind the clouds as we were packing to leave. We really enjoyed our time there and hope to return someday.