Directions: The western edge of Big Cypress National Preserve is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Naples FL on US 41 (aka Tamiami Trail). About 7 miles to the east of Carnestown (at the junction of US 41 and FL 29) is H.P. Williams Roadside Park on the north side of the highway. The asphalt ends just beyond the Park. Turner River Road (gravel) continues north for more than 20 miles.
Misc. Info: Bathrooms and a few picnic tables are available at the Roadside Park. There is a Subway restaurant at the Carnestown crossroads, but I’ve not had good luck there and would not recommend it.
Date of Visit: Mid January 2013
Conditions: Mostly sunny
Time of day: Late afternoon
Photography: The wildlife visible from the boardwalk (and surrounding area) at H.P. Williams Roadside Park make this a worthwhile destination for seeing and photographing a variety of subjects. Alligators, wood storks, great egrets, great blue herons, green herons, little blue herons, tri-colored herons, white ibis, cormorants, anhingas, and osprey are common sights here during the winter. However, the vegetation along the east (right) side of Turner River Road (the non-paved road that runs north of the Park) has grown up so that I no longer consider it worthwhile to make the effort to drive this road. A telephoto lens of at least 300mm will help capture images of gators and birds on the far side of the canal. The best time to be here is the second half of the afternoon, which will provide optimal lighting on the wildlife to the east.