Myakka River State Park, Sarasota

4.6
#1 of 16 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.
Create an itinerary including Myakka River State Park
map
Myakka River State Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,615 reviews
Google
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
  • This place is a real gem!! We started by touring the Nature Center and being educated about the local nature and wildlife. The short films were very educational, as was the volunteer, who generously shared her knowledge and fun stories. She also gave us tips to make the most of our visit to this 40,000 acre park We hiked along the Myakka River in the cool shade of the tall palms. As we hiked, we enjoyed the tropical birds and the sleeping alligators, sunning safely on the other side of the river, no less exciting!! As we continued through the park, we ventured to the canopy walk (up 74'), which was so special in the flat state of Florida. We had so much fun, that we decided to take a daring canoe paddle. We paddled in the shallow, brown Myakka River, which was terrifying!! Alligators were swimming around us and fish were jumping!! The wind was blowing. I just kept thinking, if we get stuck on a sand bar, or tip due to the powerful wind, it's over!! I was grateful I was an experienced paddler, with an experienced paddler, or we wouldn't have made it back, unaided. After our safe return, we shared stories and enjoyed a delicious sweet treat of ice cream. Next time, I would like to bring bikes and ride throughout this expansive and amazing gem!!
  • Being a born and raised Floridan it was so nice to be able to go here and appreciate some of Florida's natural beauty! The staff and volunteers were so helpful and nice and there's so much to explore and learn. It was too windy to kayak or canoe but KNOWING fully now what there is to do there and that you should dedicate a FULL day there, we will definitely be going back again!
  • A great state park with abundant wildlife, especially wading birds. There are over 40 miles of trails to get away from the crowds and encounter nature firsthand. The epic beauty of the park is its prehistoric look with foliage right of a scene from Jurassic Park. The park is also loaded with alligators and there is a tree canopy walkway that leads to 72' high observation tower with incredible views.
  • Another amazing Florida State Park! Definitely take the time to hike to Deep Hole...100's of gators and other wildlife. Have to get a permit though so get to the office early...only give out 30 a day. Boat ride is nice too. Lots to do!!
  • One of my favorite state parks! The tent camping experience was great! Lots of activities to do. Good place for couples as well as families. Do visit the visitor center and get all the brochures. We reached there on Saturday and left on Sunday afternoon. If you could spend two nights, that would be great. Missed visiting the deep hole and the tram/airboat tours :( We spotted plenty of gators and birds. The bird walk is a must 👍 The ranger/birder was very knowledgeable and she helped us identify many birds. Loved the place. Will definitely go back for biking, canoeing and deep hole.
Places to stay near Myakka River State Park

Plan your trip to Sarasota

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Myakka River State Park by other users

8 days in Bradenton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Sarasota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 23 days in Sarasota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Sarasota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Clearwater BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in Southwest Gulf Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, teens, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Sarasota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in Southwest Gulf Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 33 days in West Coast & East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, teens, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 28 days in Tampa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Florida BY A USER FROM SERBIA June, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 3 days in Sarasota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans