Sarasota offers an array of natural areas and parks for the outdoor enthusiast. With over 200+ sunny and warm days a year finding the perfect day will not be a problem.
5 Must See Nature Parks in the Sarasota area
Myakka River State Park Myakka State Park is an amazing place to go if you would like to experience “Real Florida”. The park is home to vast open prairies, beautiful Spanish moss-covered trees, street covered hammocks, and LOTS of wildlife. In addition, there are over 55 square miles of wetlands. This place is ideal for trail hiking, leisurely biking, gator sightings, bird watching, canoeing, and more. It also has the first public treetop canopy trail built in North America with a view that is just breathtaking. The list of things to do in Myakka is endless. There is also a full facility campground and a number of recently renovated cabins for overnight stays. You can also obtain a permit for primitive camping at certain times of the year.
Oscar Sherer State Park This 1,381-acre park’s large acreage of scrubby Flatwoods makes it one of the best places in southwest Florida to view Florida scrub-jays, a species found only in Florida. In addition to viewing wildlife, the park provides opportunities for canoeing, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, bicycling, and camping. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along South Creek, a tidal blackwater stream, which flows to a nearby bay. Canoes and kayaks can be rented at the ranger station. The park has full-facility campsites and a youth/group camp area. A visitor center has exhibits and videos about the park’s plants and wildlife. Fifteen miles of trails provide solitude, beauty, challenge, and a healthy adventure for everyone. The park also has access to the Legacy Trail; paved rails to trails; suitable for walking, biking, jogging, or rollerblading which runs from Venice, Florida to Sarasota, Florida passing through Oscar Scherer State Park. Red Bug Slough Preserve This 72-acre hidden gem in the center of Sarasota is a local favorite for “getting your nature fix”. This newer preserve has miles of nice wooded hiking trails, a fishing dock, a covered picnic area, and a playground for the kids. Popular for dog walkers and bird watching. Sleeping Turtle Nature Park You’ll find this wonderful park just south of Sarasota on the east side of Venice, Florida. Located alongside the Myakka River, the name "Sleeping Turtles" comes from descriptions on naval maps from the 1800s. You’ll enjoy hiking under the hammocks alongside the river. Benches with views alongside the trail offer nice rest stops with a view of birds and wildlife. There is a kayak launch for those who want to venture out on the river. Emerson Preserve Park
This 365-acre preserve is located in Manatee County and offers 4,500 years of history to experience. This unique location on the west end of Palmetto and includes a portion of Snead Island which
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