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On a recent trip, I spotted about 8 gators, yet there were signs of many more. Most seemed to be in the 4 - 6ft range. There were a few, however, that easily exceeded 10 - 12ft by my estimate.
Bay Area Park is the best place to put in, however, the park is currently closed due to ongoing tree removal caused by Hurricane Ike. Right now, most people are using the right of way in the middle of Bay Area Blvd at the bridge to gain access. There are no posted "no parking" signs, but it is a wildflower habitat. Hopefully the park will reopen by Spring.
I typically head North where it is a little more secluded. This is where the heaviest concentration of wildlife is. If you head South you get more of an "open water" experience. I've not yet made it down to Pasadena lake, but the upper portion of the park can be toured as quickly as an hour. Total tour time would be a 2 hour minimum.