A06. Myakka River State Park
Nearest City: Sarasota
Phone Number: 941-361-6511
Website: A06. Myakka River State Park
Amenities: Restrooms, Entrance fee required, Birding by car, Birding by boat, Birding by foot/hiking, Birding by bicycle, Best time of day: All day, Recommended length of visit: all day, Camping, Horseback riding br>
Habitats: Freshwater Swamp, Freshwater Marsh/Wetlands, Dry Prairie/Grassland, Pines, River/Stream/Spring/Canal, Lake/Pond/Impoundment, Hardwoods/Mixed Forest, Mudflats
This is one of the largest of Florida’s state parks, and it will easily keep you birding and exploring all day long. Take the 7-mile scenic drive through shady hammocks and grassy marshes and along the Upper Myakka lakeshore. From Oct.-Apr., ducks, wading birds, shorebirds, ospreys and eagles are seen from the lakeshore, the Birdwalk, or by canoeing along the river’s grassy edges. Don’t miss the elevated canopy walkway through an oak-palm hammock and the 74-foot-high observation tower. Explore pine flatwoods, hammocks, seasonal wetlands and globally imperiled Florida dry prairie via a 39-mile hiking trail. You’ll find exhibits and movies in the Visitor Center. Stop at the Ranger Station for trail maps and park information. Park may close when flooded; check web for updates.
Directions: From I-75 exit 205 (SR 72, Clark Rd.), drive 9 mi. east on SR 72 to the entrance on the left (N).
Open all year, 8 a.m. to sunset.