Babcock-Webb WMA – Seaboard Grade – North of Tram Grade

This is a rustic road with some patches of sugar sand but, none make it impassable with a high clearance vehicle  as far as Powerline Grade.  It can be driven by car for some distance.  This is the entrance at the intersection with Tram Grade.

The ground here is slightly higher than the other sections of Seaboard grade and there are a lot more mature trees and the forestation is somewhat more dense than the typical pine flatwoods.  There is a sump there on the right hand side that often has a gator or two hanging around.  In fact, I noticed one lying at the eastern edge of the sump and was delighted to find that I had found an Alligator nest with Mama watching over her babies.  You need to be very careful and move slowly and unthreateningly when you come across this situation.  Unlike other reptiles, female alligators protect their young from threats.  Don’t be a threat.  Florida is NOT a petting zoo.

Further down the road you will reach the intersection with Powerline Grade.  To the east, Powerline ends, a couple of hundred yards away, at a gate which is locked except in hunting season.  To the west, however, it continues on until you reach another locked gate several miles away near the Punta Gorda Utilities facility on Bermont Road. (Highway 74). 

 Because Powerline is kept free of undergrowth it’s a long hot ride.  The other roads are generally preferable since you are in the shade most of the time but you can see into the woods from Powerline.  Beyond Powerline, the road gets a little rougher but is still passable for about a mile until you hit another locked gate at the intersection with Numbered Road 1.

Unfortunately, Numbered Road 1 is on the far side of the fence.  There is a non-vehicular gate though so it is possible for walkers, cyclists and equestrians to continue onward on Seaboard or explore NR 1.  Due to the lack of vehicular traffic, the road beyond the fence is actually in excellent condition.  If you click on the left picture here, you will see a white spot down the road a ways.  That’s a rider on a brown horse.

    

Both of these roads continue to the end of the property.  Road 1 ends at Route 31 with another locked gate.  This area is used for cattle ranching and you will find a water trough immediately inside the pedestrian gate.  There are often cattle in the area but are not threatening.  The ones I have run across seem curious.  This is a very pleasant area to wander and watch the woodland birds.

    

    

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About birds n' bugs

Retired, living in SW Florida and spending my time at nature photography in my local area. I volunteer with a couple of local organizations to help my adopted home town. Travelling is now by airplane and car instead of a sailboat but happy anyway.
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