Top Sarasota Parks and Trails

Sarasota is blessed with numerous parks and trails, offering a variety of outdoor experiences for nature lovers, fitness enthusiasts, and families.  Here are some of our favorite Sarasota parks and trails:

Myakka River State Park

Located east of Sarasota, Myakka River State Park is one of Florida’s oldest and largest state parks.  With 58 square miles of arching palm trees, live oaks, and an abundance of wildlife; including alligators, turtles, and birds; the park is still reminiscent of what early Native Americans and Spanish explorers witnessed centuries ago.  The park offers diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and incredible pinelands.  Boating, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking are popular activities on the water.  On land, there are miles of trails and backroads for hikers and bicyclists.

Bayfront Park 

Bayfront Park is situated along Sarasota Bay and is known for its scenic views, walking paths, playgrounds, and recreational amenities.  It’s a great spot for picnicking, strolling and enjoying waterfront activities, and watching boats go by.  Bayfront is also dog-friendly and has a wonderful splash pad area for the kids.

Celery Fields

Celery Fields is a popular spot for birdwatching and outdoor recreation.  Once an agricultural area, it has been transformed into a 400+ acre wetland habitat with trails, boardwalks, and observation platforms, providing opportunities to see a variety of bird species.  The Celery Fields is a great spot for numerous low-impact activities such as hiking, fishing, biking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.  In fact, over 246 species of birds have been recorded at the Celery Fields.  The site is also well known for its paleontological artifacts.

Indian Mound Park

The Greater Sarasota area provides a rare opportunity to visit a significant Indian mound site.  One cannot help but marvel at the contoured landscape of the area, which is directly due to Indian habitation.  Centuries ago, the Indians were drawn to this area because it was rich in resources, both on land and in the bay.  Today Indian Mound Park has hiking trails, picnic facilities, and a boat ramp and canoe launch.

Jelks Preserve

Located in Venice, Jelks is a 614-acre preserve with more than eight miles of trails, much of it shaded by a densely-knit canopy of oaks along the Myakka River.  It is also one of the most beautiful and unique places in South Florida.  Expect to see alligators, turtles, boars, and armadillos during your hike, along with a variety of bird species.  You may even see a nesting pair of bald eagles.

Oscar Scherer State Park

Located south of Sarasota, Oscar Scherer State Park features a diverse landscape of pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, and freshwater marshes.  Visitors can enjoy hiking, picnicking, fishing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.

Nathan Benderson Park

Nathan Benderson Park is a premier rowing and sports venue with a picturesque 400-acre lake.  Visitors can enjoy walking and biking trails, kayaking, paddleboarding, and watching rowing competitions.

Legacy Trail

The Legacy Trail is a multi-use recreational trail spanning nearly 11 miles from Sarasota to Venice.  It's ideal for walking, jogging, biking, and rollerblading, with scenic views of wetlands, woodlands, and waterways along the way.

Experience Old Florida Charm at Siesta Key

After a day of hiking and outdoor activities, your old Florida experience doesn’t have to end.  Stay at The Inn on Siesta Key for a quiet, private stay in an inn that reminds us all of the way it used to be in Florida – cozy, personable, friendly service with old Florida charm and modern amenities.  Your Siesta Beach vacation awaits at The Inn on Siesta Key!

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