← Places to Visit | H. P. Williams Roadside Park

Chris

The H. P. Williams Roadside Park denotes the most southerly point of the Turner River Road at its intersection with the Tamiami Trail. This small roadside rest area is named for Homer P. Williams, an engineer, who worked for Barron Collier during the construction of Tamiami Trail in the 1920s.

Turner River Road is paved but very quickly turns to crushed rock and sand. In drier times the road and its surroundings can become very dusty and in rainy season there are mucky places to avoid. Since there is only one exit about one-third of the way in, the wide, 2-lane road easily accommodates all entering and exiting traffic and, outside of some washboard surfaces, is good enough to travel in the family car.

There is a short boardwalk overlooking a canal where a variety of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and a variety of birds are often seen. Picnic tables, and a vault toilet are available. Park rangers provide informative talks of various subjects here during the winter months.

Website: https://www.nps.gov/bicy/planyourvisit/hp-williams-roadside-park.htm

33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141

H. P. Williams Roadside Park is a popular place to stop while driving Highway 41 in either direction. I rarely drive by it without stopping because it's convenient and predictably easy place to see some wildlife, particularly alligators. It's nearly a sure thing to see a gator or more from the boardwalk above the canal which may account for its popularity, no concerns of being too close to the alligators. I've seen up to six at one visit. The far bank is heavily treed and a good place to spot birds as well but not as predictably as the alligators.

This is the first place I'd seen reticulated pythons, the invasive snake causing extensive damage to the Everglades wildlife. There were two or more very young pythons at water level by the boardwalk that caught everyone's attention and were promptly reported to F.W.C.

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