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Myakka River State Park, Sarasota

(4.3/5 based on 300+ reviews on the web)
Myakka River State Park is a Florida State Park, that is located nine miles (11 km) east of I-75 in Sarasota in Sarasota County and that includes portions of southeastern Manatee County. A small portion (1,920 acres) of the park was the gift of the family of Bertha Palmer to the state. The park is named after the Myakka River.Consisting of 37,000 acres (150 km2), this is one of the state's largest and oldest parks. It was delineated in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.EnvironmentMyakka River State Park is in the southeastern conifer forests ecoregion. Plant communities in areas of the park with drier soils are a mixture of pine forests, scrub, and prairies. Florida longleaf pine sandhills are woodlands dominated by longleaf pine. South Florida pine flatwoods are open woodlands of with a dense ground cover of grasses and shrubs. Florida peninsula inland scrub consists of sand pines growing amid shrublands of evergreen oaks. Florida dry prairies are flat, nearly treeless plains with dense cover of grasses and saw palmetto.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful views across the tree tops. Bit of a climb up the stairs so take it easy on the climb and rest in between. The wooden walkway is fun! 
  • The canopy walk is a quick thing, but the park itself is amazing. keep driving/hiking through to see the many various birds, animals and gorgeous vegetation. The sunset is spectacular viewed over the ...  more »
  • The whole Myakka State Park is worth a day trip. You experience some great outdoor Florida activities. Nice hiking trails, camping, and biking. Great place to see alligators in the wild. Great nature. 
Google
  • Fantastic place for a good 4 hour family fun. They have seasonal tram ride during spring and summer months. The air boat is $15 per adult, goes 5mph max, and is 1 hour long. I would bring a hat, bike, sun screen, bug spray, lunch, and water. 27 miles of trials with nice flat surfaces. Tons of gators. Good quick food shop and gift shop. Would suggest to go camping in.
  • A great park for camping, riding a bicycle and watching gators sun bathe. Unfortunately the Canopy walkway was under construction when we visited but I've heard good things about it and I hope to come back soon. If you're hoping to hike make sure to ask for a hike and bike mao at the ranger station upon entry. We went to Pink Gator cafe for a small snack of alligator bites. I wish there were more alligator than chips but the chips were not bad so I can't complain much. We saw a ton of gators around the park, especially around this season they tend to be out under the sun.
  • The tree canopy walkway is really pretty and nice to do. The "air boat" ride is over rated because it is more like a barge that moves at a snails pace around the lake. The big thrill is seeing a gater which for a FL native is pretty ho hum. The park is quite lovely though and there's a gift shop, sandwich shop upstairs that's cool. Not a "must see" but a nice diversion.
  • Awesome place to see some huge wild alligators up close and from a far. There's a nice boat ride on the world's largest airboat for a decent fee. If it's TOO Windy or cold out then you might not get to see that many gators but the chances are in your favor with an estimated 150,000 gators in Myakka park alone. The campy walk is pretty cool (under construction right now until middle of November 2016) plenty of places to fish and campgrounds, rented bikes, canoes and other things to do. There is a deli upstairs inside a fantastic giftshop that serves really good alligator bites and a decent gator stew along with locally brewed beer.
  • A massive expanse of preserved wild land that is home to a healthy cross section of native plants and animals. The park has two lakes known as upper and lower Myakka. Be certain to bring everything you will need as the nearest store is a trek from the park. There are 6 campgrounds. There are only basic accommodations available and they are a bit rough. But, not to worry they are far enough from the water to be safe from the alligators! And yes, their are plenty of alligators. You wont miss them once you get to the waters edge of either lake. If you are a birder, you will love this location. There are rare and scarce species depending on the time of the year. You may also see any number of mammals that call Florida home, such as the coati. This park is a favorite among cyclist and there may be heavy traffic during the winter months. There are air boat tours available and I highly advise going on one. The guides know where all the local animals like to hang out and you get a nice, up close look at the alligators in the wild.