The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location
As you drive by the entrance for River Rise State Park, you’ll notice the gate is closed and locked. To gain access, just go to the ranger station at nearby O’Leno State Park to pay the fee and get the combination for the lock. Once you drive through the gate, the road is a narrow two tire trail through the woods. We kept hoping another car wasn’t going to come out as we were going in as there is no where to pull over to let another car pass!
After driving a couple of miles down the trail, we came to the parking area for the river rise. There was only one other car here with a family fishing off the banks of the slow moving river.
It is hard to tell exactly where the river rises out of the ground. I painted this small “hole” on the bank, which my husband Rick said must be where the water was coming through. He let his lure drop in the water here and it didn’t seem to have a bottom! And the dark black water was impossible to see through more than a few inches.
The banks of the river were lined with ancient cypress trees that loomed over the barely moving river.
I decided to paint the “hole” where it seemed like the water came out of the ground. I liked the reflections of the trees and the twisty roots of the oak.
As we were walking back to the car, I noticed a Ladies Tresses orchid blooming on the trail. I took a few photos and then noticed another and another and another! There were many of these wild orchids in this unexpected spot!
For more information about this park, visit their website