Friday, March 10, 2017

Orange Lake and Sims Park, 3/04/2017

Wanting to spend some time in the beautiful outdoors, we decided to check out Orange Lake and Sims Park (where leashed dogs are permitted). Located in New Port Richey (about 30 minutes west of where we are staying in Lutz). Because it was a busy Saturday, we drove around until we found a parking space in the lot across from the park. In addition to the two parks the Rao Musunuru, MD, Museum & Library is located here.

Sims Park is named in honor of George RSims, an early developer of New Port Richey after he and his wife, Marjoriedonated the land to the city in 1924. There are 5 pavilions, a band shelter/amphitheater, splash pad, exercise equipment, and playground.

Paved paths wind through the park along the riverfront and around Orange Lake. The the Pithlachascotee River runs through the park. There is a boat launch (on the opposite bank) and docks available for use by visitors. There are lovely homes along the banks as well. 

Following the path around Orange Lake, we encountered this flock of Ibises. The trees along the lake provided sheltered areas for the ibises, Muscovy ducks, and other waterfowl. 

Overlooking Orange Lake, is a military memorial is dedicated to the veterans of West Pasco County.

We came across this beautiful Muscovy mama duck caring for her ducklings (we counted at least 14 of them!) She began pushing them into the lake for a swim. They were so darn adorable!

John put Sadie's leash on the ground; pulled out his phone to take a photo of the ducklings; and, suddenly, Sadiejumped into the lake to chase them!!! This is something we have never seen her do! John immediately went into the water and pulled her out. Here she is getting scolded. And then feeling remorseful. She was very well behaved after this incident. 

Thankfully, all of the ducklings were safe and sound in the vegetation along the banks of the lake. Both Muscovy duck parents gave Sadie a real scolding while she was in the water, too!

The American Pekin ducks and mallards in Orange Lake were fun to watch. 

The Seven Springs schoolhouse, moved to its current location in 1981 and was then renovated by the West Pasco Historical Society, houses the Rao MusunuruMDMuseum & Library. John and Sadie enjoyed the park while I went in for a quick tour of the Museum. 

Some of the oldest mounds (of shellfish remains) in North America were left here by Native Americans who lived in the area 6,000-7,000 year ago. One of the first (small) rooms in the museum is devoted to the ancient tribes as well as those that still reside in Florida

Furnishings from the historic Hacienda Hotel are on display as well as other artifacts of interest from the local area.

The military exhibit displays uniforms of various time periods with other items from WWI, WWII, Korean Conflict 

Dr. Edwin C. Brookman practiced medicine in New Port Richey during the 1940s and 50s. He also served as mayor from 1944-51. A display of his office and other medical artifacts used during that time. 

In the same room is an exhibit featuring tools used in local industries

There is no admission fee for the museum, but donations are appreciated. 

For us, the best part of this park, were the paved pathways around the lake and along the riverfront. It's a lovely respite in the middle of the town of New Port Richey. 

For additional information about the park, see or for the museum, go to

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