Gone Fishing part II, Lake Miccosukee
If you can't get invited to fish privately, or if you're hot to actually go out in a boat, you can mosey on down to Lake Miccosukee. LM is a huge (maybe a hundred square miles) swampy lake just east of Miccosukee. There are boats for rent at the shore's edge (see my Reeves Landing/Fish Camp tip). To my knowledge, you can buy your state fishing license at Reeves, and since this is a public lake, you will need a license.
There have been some record-setting largemouth bass pulled out of Lake Miccosukee over the years. In addition, there are plenty of bream biting. Speaking of biting, don't forget your bug spray if you go early in the AM or PM. The mosquitos can get rough.
....and, keep your eyes open in the really isolated parts of the lake...and don't dangle a lot of your caught fish on lines hanging over the side of your boat. There ARE alligators out there, too.
To get to Lake Miccosukee from Miccosukee village, head east on Cromartie Road. Cromartie will dead end at a plantation entrance. You'll then turn left and the road will become Reeves Landing road. Stay on the PAVED road through a deep right turn and then a left turn. The lake and Reeves landing will be about 3 miles beyond the dead end of Cromartie Road.
There's plenty of parking there, boats to rent, and even an overnight camping area. I don't particularly recommend the social scene at this campground after the sun goes down. I've said enough, as they say.
The Old Schoolhouse II, sign of the past...
The old Concord School existed, literally, in another era. It was a time of single classrooms, spinster teachers and hardscrabble rural mentality in MIccosukee. When Concord school opened in 1934, Tallahassee probably seemed like it was hundreds of miles away. When the local students graduated from grade 6 and moved on to junior high school in the BIG city, the culture shock was huge.
The old sign out by the road kind of gives me a misty eye for older times. Concord School existed as an educational edifice in a time when teachers had unquestioned respect, both from parents and students, and "electives" meant electing whether or not you wanted to get an education or end up working in the fields for the rest of your life. And discipline?? Concord School existed in a time when the principal would regularly paddle troublemaking students. And back then, if you got paddled at school, you'd get another paddling when you got home and your parents found out about it. Today, a kid getting paddled at school is a reason to call the family lawyer for a lawsuit. It's no wonder that we have so many huge discipline problems among our young today.
And FWIW, I was a good kid. I never got paddled at school. (I didn't go to Concord, BTW)
Reeves Landing/Reeves Fish Camp, Lake Miccosukee
Reeves Fish Camp is at Reeves Landing, at the edge of Lake Miccosukee. To get there, travel east on Cromartie Road until it deadends at a plantation gate. Go left on what becomes Reeves Landing Road. Keep following the PAVED road, about 3 miles, to Lake Miccosukee and Reeves Fish Camp.
Reeves rents boats, sells bait, and has all other needed fishing supplies, including such essentials as rods, reels, line, licenses and beer. (Note....they're listed in REVERSE order of imporance : p
There is actually overnight camping at Reeves, but I do not recommend it as part of the social scene in Miccosukee. I suppose it's all right if you are a hard core fisherman. But while Reeves is great for day fishing support, I think you should find, shall we say, "higher ground" come nightfall. :)
This is the lovely man-made lake across the road from Bradley's Country Store (see tip in shopping). The general address is 10655 Centerville Road, and it' located between Tallahassee and Miccosukee. (12 miles from the former and 6 miles from the latter)
This lake is private property owned by the Bradley family. But, they open the grounds a couple of times a year when they host the Bradley's Country Fun Day and the Tallahassee Renaissance Fair.
What a beautiful and tranquil spot, don't you agree?
Gone Fishing, part I
If you like to fresh-water fish, there are numerous private lakes and ponds in the Miccosukee area. If you can find a local friend, perhaps you can get invited for an afternoon of fishin' and just plain talk.
One nice thing.... when you fish a private pond, you need NO state fishing license, ie it's a perfect plan for that one fishing trip a year person.
If you catch enough, then maybe you should have a fish fry that evening? Invite the neighbors and they can bring the beer, cole slaw and cheese grits. Yum.
One of my boyhood homes
My father was in the Air Force (he was a hospital commander, not a pilot). So, we lived in quite a few different places.
We first moved to Tallahassee (Miccosukee) in 1969. My mom, brother and I lived for a year in a small home down the road from where I live now, while my dad did a tour of duty in Thailand (during the Vietnam War).
Anyway, this is a photo of a house I lived in from 1969-1970. The room on the far left was my room, and I have many monumental memories of my year at this place. It was the year that I turned into a teenager, after all. : )
Ride around and check out the plantations
Much of the land around Miccosukee is still owned by "plantations". While the time of pickin' cotton is long-gone, many of these plantations are still in cattle farming and other agricultural businesses.
Most of them employee a fair number of people to maintain and operate the agribusiness aspect. And some remain home to families as well.
It'd be a very peaceful place to live, I'd think. : ) It's also a nice Sunday afternoon drive, checking out the beautiful plantation lands.
The old schoolhouse
Back in 1934, Concord School was built in the town of Miccosukee. For years, the few youngsters in the area attended grades 1-6 at the town school. As time went on, the costs of operating a school for so few students grew prohibitive. AND, the state began to exercise more direct control over school districts, making small "town schools" a thing of the past. So, in the mid-1980s, Miccosukee's Concord School was closed. The building remains in use as a center for the community's "Head Start" program. (for children from economically disadvantaged families)
Cromartie Road, true rural beauty
The road east of Miccosukee, heading towards Reeves Landing and Lake Miccosukee features some of the most serene and beautiful rural farmland in Leon County.
I'd suggest that any Sunday walk, bicycle trip or drive in the area of Miccosukee include a trip down Cromartie Road.