Kayaking to Makinson Island

Makinson Island is located in Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, FL. Back in the early 1990s, Makinson Island was home to a zoo with free roaming exotic animals called Cypress Island. Cypress Island ferried tourists to the zoo from a dock on the east side of Lake Toho, and once on the island, featured a safari ride, horseback riding, and hiking trails. I went to Cypress Island a few times as a kid and thought it was one of the coolest places ever. Eventually the zoo closed and the island eventually became a county conservation area, officially having the Cypress Island name removed and becoming Makinson Island. Ever since hearing that the island became a public park, I had wanted to return. I finally made that happen recently, getting to Makinson Island by kayak. The journey began at the Granada Boat Ramp in Kissimmee.

The boat ramp was a few miles away from Makinson Island. The paddle took me into Lake Toho.

Rather than going through open water, I realized it would be much more direct to weave through the paths going through the plant-filled, marshy areas of the lake. Surprisingly, I didn't see as much wildlife in this area of the lake as expected.

After leaving the marshy areas, I had to cross the open water to reach Makinson Island. There is a nice cove for boat docking on the west side of the island.

I docked the kayak here and began to explore the island.

There's a nice camping area right by the boat launch on the island. There's a gazebo, firepit, and bathrooms. 
I left this area and began hiking around the perimeter trail going around Makinson Island. I had heard rumors that there are some animals that still roam the island back from it's Cypress Island days, specifically big horn sheep. I was on the lookout for those!
I did find the Geocaches located on Mackinson Island.
I didn't see any of the bighorn sheep, but I did see evidence of wild pigs and raccoons. I did come across this skeleton of some sort of large animal. Perhaps a pig?

After completing the hike around the island, I returned to the kayak and started paddling back towards Granada Boat Ramp. 

I took video during the trip. Here's a timelapse of the kayaking to and from Makinson Island as well as hiking around the island itself: