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Overview

Showcasing the vastness of Florida’s central prairies within easy reach of the Sarasota metro area, Myakka River State Park is a destination for the full spectrum of outdoor enthusiasts. Like your wilderness wet? Head on over to the Myakka Maiden or the Gator Gal, two of the largest airboats in Florida, for a cruise down the alligator-thick waters of Upper Myakka Lake with a tour guide, or paddle down the Myakka River yourself in a rental canoe or kayak. Looking for something mild? Grab a narrated Tram Safari out into the prairie, or simply drive the length of the park’s very scenic drive. Birders won’t want to miss the Bird Walk, a ...

Showcasing the vastness of Florida’s central prairies within easy reach of the Sarasota metro area, Myakka River State Park is a destination for the full spectrum of outdoor enthusiasts. Like your wilderness wet? Head on over to the Myakka Maiden or the Gator Gal, two of the largest airboats in Florida, for a cruise down the alligator-thick waters of Upper Myakka Lake with a tour guide, or paddle down the Myakka River yourself in a rental canoe or kayak. Looking for something mild? Grab a narrated Tram Safari out into the prairie, or simply drive the length of the park’s very scenic drive. Birders won’t want to miss the Bird Walk, a boardwalk and observation deck on Upper Myakka Lake, and the kids won’t hush unless you take them on the Canopy Walk, swinging up in the air in the live oak canopy connected to a 70-foot tower. For backpackers, a loop trail system of nearly 40 miles immerses hikers in the prairie landscapes, and bicyclists have seven paved miles plus a dozen more on dirt to explore. Add in the Civilian Conservation Corps-era palmetto log cabins, more modern camping facilities, and boating and fishing opportunities, and you can spend your entire vacation in the park.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in southwest Florida, seven miles (11 km) east of Sarasota.
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, winter, fall