Myakka River State Park, near Sarasota Florida, is one of the oldest and the second largest state park in the state of Florida. It spans 37,000 acres, and offers something for most anyone looking to get out into nature and to see “old Florida.”
The Florida state park service was established in 1935, and The Civilian Conservation Corps built five of the buildings that can still be used today. The CCC was developed in 1933 by Congress in order to help provide young men jobs during the Great Depression.
The park consists of prairie, wetlands, pinelands, and palm hammocks, as well as the Myakka River, and the upper and lower Myakka lakes. It is a great place to go to if you enjoy seeing wildlife, such as birds, wild boar, deer, bobcats, and of course, the American alligator.
The park has over 30 miles of hiking trails as well as pull off points for cars, in casde you want to drive around the park, so you can enjoy the scenery. There is a Canopy bridge and an attacked tower so you can get an aerial view of the plains in the park. Canoe ank bike rentals, a boat tour and a tram ride is also available.
Also, available at the park is a welcome center, where you can learn about the different animals, plants and ecosystems at the park. There is also a building down by the river where you can rent bicycles and canoes. When done, you can cross the parking lot and visit the parks’ gift shop and grab a bite at the restaurant. If you want to spend more than one day exploring this park, cabins as well as campsites are available. These sites require advanced reservations.
Myakka River State Park is diffently a great place to visit, if you head to southwest Florida!