Myakka River State Park
Sarasota, FL 34241
For reservations call Reserve America at 800-326-3521
$6.00 per vehicle for 2 to 8 persons
8 AM to sunset
Year round, though the most popular time to visit is in the cooler, drier months of October through May
39 miles of hiking trails, canopy walkway and tower, equestrian trails, seven-mile scenic paved drive, ADA fishing pier, boat launch, canoe/kayak launch, canoe and kayak rental, bicycle rental, family campgrounds, six primitive backpack campgrounds, group campground, rental cabins, picnic areas, playground equipment, pavilions, visitor center with exhibits and videos, airboat tours, tram tours, ranger-guided tours, park programs, concessions, gift shops, pet-friendly trails and campground, restrooms, parking
See also www.myakkariver.org
Myakka River State Park is one of Florida's oldest and largest state parks protecting one of the State's most diverse natural areas. The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. You can enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake, then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway suspended 25 feet above the ground. A tower soars 74 feet in the air, presenting spectacular views.
The river and two lakes are ideal for boating, freshwater fishing, canoeing and kayaking. The river courses through a narrow, serpentine channel bordered by Spanish moss-laden branches of live oaks and sabal palm trees, providing quiet solitude to the paddler. If you enjoy hiking, explore the miles of trails that cross large expanses of rare Florida dry prairie.
The park is famous for its diverse wildlife. You can see alligators and wading birds in the park year round. In the winter, ducks and shorebirds feed in the shallows as bald eagles and ospreys fish from above. Sandhill cranes nest along the water's edge. Scenic lake tours are offered daily on the world's two largest airboats. Safari tram tours of the park's backcountry are offered from mid-December through May. Full-facility campgrounds and primitive campsites are available.
In the early 1930's, local residents recognized the Myakka River Valley as a valuable part of their heritage and worked to establish one of Florida's first state parks. Between 1934 and 1941, the Civilian Conservation Corps, with help from the National Park Service and Florida Park Service, constructed facilities and developed the park. Myakka River State Park was opened in 1942. Many of the original buildings are still in use today.
The Myakka River was designated a Florida Wild and Scenic River by the State legislature in 1985. It is the only river in Florida to be recognized with this special status. The act provides for preservation and management of the 34 mile portion of the river within Sarasota County.
Florida dry prairie, pine flatwoods, hardwood hammocks, depression marshes, forested wetlands (swamps), scrubby flatwoods, blackwater river, freshwater lakes
37,198 acres, or approximately 58 square miles (twelve miles shoreline along the Myakka River)
Who Owns and Maintains
Managed by the Florida Park Service, under the Department of Environmental Protection
SCAT Bus stop and route