Myakka River State Park, Sarasota

4.6
#1 of 11 in Nature in Southwest Gulf Coast
Stretching over 14,973 hectares (37,000 acres), this is one of the state’s largest, oldest, and most diverse parks. Myakka River State Park features wetlands, hammocks, pinelands, and prairies--great homes for a variety of wildlife. Take a stroll on the boardwalk over Upper Myakka Lake, and see if you can spy any alligators. Also visit the canopy walkway, a treetop suspension bridge and tower, for superb views of the lush landscape and bird-watching opportunities. Keep an eye out for the roseate spoonbill. With pink plumage and a spoon-shaped bill, it’s one of the most striking birds found in North America. Head to the park’s river or one of two lakes to go canoeing, kayaking, or freshwater fishing. If you’re in the mood for a more relaxed visit, sit back and enjoy a scenic lake tour. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and bug spray. Myakka River State Park is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our international travel planner, Sarasota Edition.
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Myakka River State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,615 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We drove from one end of the park to the other and saw many alligators where the road bridges a inlet. We had a picnic lunch in a secluded gully and were charmed by a songbird that serenaded us as we ...  more »
  • We have our own canoe, chose a place to put in, paddled upstream and then back down to take out at the same place we put in. The wildlife was plentiful - dozens of wading birds and numerous alligators...  more »
  • We always bring guests to Myakka and take the tram ride and the boat tour of the lake. Both guides are a wealth of information and make both trips thoroughly enjoyable.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful state park with all manner of Florida wildlife and plants to see. Start with a look through of the visitors center with examples of animals that make the park home. The 4 or 5 short videos are informative. After that there is a road through the park out to a restaurant and gift shop. While driving we got out to see alligators (from a safe distance), armadillos and many species of birds. A highlight is the canopy walk which puts you above the trees for some great pictures.
  • About $7 dollars entrance fee there is loads to see beyond the ranger station. lovely winding roads with large oaks arching to form tunnels of branches overhead. Plenty of Gators and abundant bird life. If you like man made amenities there is a large gift shop and an impressive cafe overlooking a large body of water. There is also a 70' tower and below a suspension bridge that takes a path through the tree canopy. A great family adventure!
  • Beautiful park a short drive from Sarasota. We were able to see many gators at two different spots within the park. The ranger told us there were over 10,000 gators in the park. We also saw spoonbills, vultures and so many other birds. You can take tram or boat tours which we did not do, opting for the free options. There is a place called deep hole where sometimes hundreds of gators can be seen sunning. You need to get a permit at the office to go there and they only give 30 permits per day, which are gone right near opening time. If you are lucky enough to get one, it will be a 2.2 mile walk each way to get to deep hole - no cars allowed.
  • A really terrific Wildlife Refuge for many species of reptiles and birds. It's a SUPER place to go if you like seeing alligators! The (free) Canopy View Structure was really cool and worth the climb up the 75 feet. The Flatboat Adventure Tour was well worth the $15.00 price, as our guide was smart, funny and easy to understand over the noise of the boat. We were amazed at the number of alligators on the banks of the lake as well as those that swam out to our boat! We also a long (safe) hike in the shade of the old oak trees.
  • This is a nice state park. We went canoeing (myself, wife and two teenage boys) between Christmas and New Years. It was easy to get the canoes, easy water access and the service was great. A little bit of a wait to get a canoe, but not long (10 min). Return was easy. Restroom access at the lake was good and the rest rooms were clean and plentiful. For the lake itself, we enjoyed the canoeing. We saw a ton of alligators (some small ones up close) and a lot of different kinds of birds. We also saw three wild boar near the water (on the more isolated north side of the lake). Great park overall and we really enjoyed this with our family.

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