Venice, FL 37292
Sarasota County Call Center (Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm)
7:30 AM – 8 PM April through October; 7:30 AM – 6 PM November through March
Year round, however ideal conditions are from November – May
Walking/hiking trails, fishing, picnic shelters, park benches, portable restrooms, limited parking
Jelks Preserve is a showcase for the area’s vast ecological wealth. A network of nature trails takes you through a mosaic of habitats, from oak hammocks and pine flatwoods to seasonal wetlands and marshes. View the river at three different locations while relaxing in the shade of mature live oak trees festooned with epiphytes. Look for gopher tortoises, swallowtail butterflies, swallow-tailed kites, an assortment of song birds and wildflowers, such as Carolina jessamine and coralbean.
The preserve has more than eight miles of trails, including the 3 mile outer loop trail. All trails are unpaved but accessible for most visitors. While some trails are shaded as they meander to the river through canopied hammocks, others are open and sunny. All trail intersections are marked with numbered markers. Some trails may flood after heavy rainfall and several may be wet year round at intersections with creeks and ditches. Fishing is permissible along the river. Be sure to bring water, sun block, a rain jacket and sturdy shoes.
This 614 acre preserve was purchased in 1999 through the one percent county sales tax and a generous contribution from the Jelks Family Foundation.
Scrubby flatwoods, oak hammocks, pine flatwoods, seasonal marshes
614 acres along the Florida State-designated “Wild and Scenic” Myakka River
Who Owns and Maintains
Owned and maintained by Sarasota County
SCAT Bus stop and route