14 miles inland from Sarasota on Route 72 you will find the Myakka River State Park. This is rural Florida with marshes, pinewoods and prairies. It costs $2 for pedestrians and cyclists and $6 for a vehicle of up to 8 passengers.
We would recommend calling into the Interpretive centre on arrival of an insight into what you can expect to see. There is loads to do, lots to see and plenty of place to stop to have a nice BBQ or picnic.
The park has bicycle and canoe/kayak rentals and also offers scenic lake tours – in the world’s two largest airboats.
My husband loves to fish and the park´s river and two lakes mean plenty of opportunity for fishing – apparently there are a lot of Bass. I’m told that there are also safari tram tours of the park´s backcountry from mid-December through May although we have never done this.
There are always lots of bird and in our experience loads of BIG alligators – if you want to see a gator in the wild and you are in the Sarasota area I would recommend a trip to Myakka. The largest alligators are thought to be about 14ft – unsurprisingly there is no swimming! The best place to go to ensure you see them is called Deep Hole which is in the Lower Myakka Lake, Wilderness Area.
Finally I can’t blog about Myakka without mentioning the canopy walk – it is very popular and cool, however, quite short. The other thing I would say – watch out of the spiders!!