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Myakka River State Park, Sarasota

(4.5/5 based on 2,200+ reviews on the web)
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. Arrange to visit Myakka River State Park and other attractions in Sarasota using our Sarasota travel itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • On a weekday, at the height of the season, we ran into virtually nobody as we cycled North Drive along Upper Myakka Lake. Spectacular scenery I’ve seen nowhere else. Can’t wait to come back and kayak....  more »
  • Took the boat trip, which was well worth it, walked the suspended bridge, grandson fished in the river. While we watched the alligators across the River. A controlled burn was going on the day we visi...  more »
  • What a fun day at Myakka River State Park with family. Took the boat ride hoping to see alligators but the wind prevented the alligators from sunning themselves. Lots of beautiful bird viewing and a f...  more »
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.