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Hiking

(Also See Trails and Preserves)

Put on your boots and get ready to go. Sarasota County has trails of every length in every direction. Go for a 1.5 mile stroll or hike the 39 miles of trails that snake through the 28,850-acres of Myakka wilderness. Backpackers can choose from six primitive campsites, each nestled in its own unique environment, the closest just a few hour's walk from the parking lot. We don't have mountains but we do have a 70 foot high canopy walk that will have you hiking in the trees. There is plenty of terrain that will keep your interest. Visit the many nature centers, parks, and preserves to experience piney flatwoods, scrub, coastal hammock, and swamp !

An abundance of wildlife lives on these natural lands so bring a camera. You'll want to remember. And just think if you join a club, you can hike with friends all the time!

 

Appalachian Trail Club of Florida
941-921-1467
www.geocities.com/atcflorida

Florida Trail Association
941-349-7171
www.floridatrail.org

Sarasota County Parks & Recreation
www.scgov.net/ParksandRecreation/Parks

Check It Out!

Environeers Outfitter’s
John or Ann Krotec
5373 Fruitville Road
Sarasota Florida
Phone: 941-371-6208
ops@environeers.com
www.environeers.com

John knows survival and he knows this area. Periodically, he coordinates a survival school in our area. Contact him for more info. Don’t call or email. Go to the store. They have everything for camping, climbing, heat, cold, rain, desert and they have done it all before. It’s worth a trip just to see the pictures and talk to the Krotecks because these people know the outdoors. They also offer orienteering courses, overnight local backpacking trips, and international climbing and trekking trips (South America).


Myakka River State Park
13208 State Road 72
Sarasota Florida
Phone: 941-361-6511
www.myakkariver.org

Myakka River State Park is one of Florida’s oldest and largest state parks, famous for its panoramas of lakes, river, marshes, hammocks and prairies, and for its abundant wildlife populations. Deer, alligators and many species of wading birds are abundant, as well as thousands of waterfowl in the winter months. Ospreys, bald eagles and sandhill cranes are commonly seen. A visitors’ center has exhibits of wildlife and plant communities on display. Park rangers provide videos, guided walks and campfire programs according to seasonal attendance. During the winter, they offer bird watching for beginners. A 7,500-acre wilderness preserve resembles Florida as it looked before the arrival of Europeans. A limited number of visitors are allowed to visit this preserve each day on foot or by boat. All plant and animal life is protected in state parks. Intoxicants are not permitted in any area of the park.

Park Highlights: Over 28,875 acres of pristine area, wildlife trails, canoeing, biking, camping, visitor’s center, elevated tree canopy walk, snack bar and highly recommended airboat rides and tram tours; each ride and tour takes about an hour, and no walking is required.

Canoes and bicycles are available for rental, picnic tables are located near boat and tram tour rides. If you are planning to take one of the tour rides, getting there early is a good idea. No reservations are accepted. Group rates and charters are available.

Tour Highlights: Extremely knowledgeable and entertaining tour guides; ranger-guided walks Sat. mornings at 9 a.m.; “Gator Gal” (the world’s largest airboat); alligators, deer, bobcat and bald eagles in the wild; plenty of fresh air. Fares: Adults $10; children (6-12 years) $5; toddlers (5 and under) free if held in lap.

A Brief History of Myakka River State Park
In the early 1920s, A.B. Edwards, a prominent resident and Sarasota’s first mayor, launched a movement to set aside a natural area for recreation and preservation. Edwards persuaded the Florida Internal Improvement Fund to buy more than 17,000 acres (at 37.5 cents an acre!) from the A.C. Honore Estate. A few weeks after the purchase, Honore and Potter Palmer donated more than 1,900 acres to the state — a memorial to their mother Bertha Palmer. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (one of many federal relief agencies established through President Roosevelt’s New Deal to help ease the Depression) brought in 200 men to make the 26,000 acres usable. From 1934 to 1941 the crew built roads, bridges, cabins, dug drainage ditches and planted over 100,000 trees. Everything constructed was done with native materials. The park opened to the public June 1, 1942.


Walk On The Wild Side
629 41st Street
Sarasota Florida
Phone: 941-351-6500
www.walkwild.com

Wildlife Services of Florida
Mark Barrow
Florida
Wildman@wildlifeservicesfl.com
www.wildlifeservicesfl.com
Local Canoe Adventures, Fossil Hunts, Wilderness Survival Skills

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