Myakka River Historic State Park
Myakka River State Park is one of Florida's largest and most diverse natural areas. The "Florida Wild and Scenic" Myakka River flows through 45 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks and pinelands. The river and its two shallow lakes attract a myriad of wetland creatures making birding, canoeing, fishing and wildlife observation popular activities.A 7-mile scenic drive winds through shady oak-palm hammocks and along the shore of the Upper Myakka Lake. Over 39 miles of hiking trails and many miles of dirt roads provide access to the remote interior.
Amenities/FeaturesVisitor Center Includes displays of wildlife and their habitats, frog calls; also features the Myakka Movies. Wildlife Viewing Deer, raccoons, opossums, red-shouldered hawks, turkeys, barred owls, and vultures are commonly seen along the park drive. The river, lakes and wetlands attract huge alligators, ducks, wading birds, woodstorks, sandhill cranes, roseate spoonbills, eagles, ospreys, and shorebirds. Hiking trails lead to the prairies and pinelands that harbor caracaras, Bachman’s sparrows, bobcats, bobwhite quail, and meadowlarks. Youth Camping Three group camping areas accommodate up to 20 people each. Preference for reservations is given to groups with more than 50% of campers under 18 years of age. Myakka River Youth Camping Bicycling Myakka River offers cyclers diverse opportunities to explore the variety of landscapes for which the area is noted. More on Biking
Horse Trails Bring your own horse and register to ride the 14-mile, multi-looped trail. Proof of negative Coggins test is required. There’s an additional fee for use of the horse trail. The trail passes through hammock, prairie, and wetlands and is extremely wet and buggy during the summer. More on Horse Trails Interpretive Programs Nature Walk--Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. Join a park ranger for a walk in the park to discover the many secrets of nature. Terrain is moderately rough. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Park entrance fee. Campfire Programs (Thanksgiving through Easter) Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Sit back and enjoy intriguing stories about the “Real Florida” by the light of a flickering fire. Programs last approximately 30 minutes and are usually illustrated with color slides. Park entrance fee. Beginning Birding (Thanksgiving through Easter) Sundays at 9;00 a.m. Want a fascinating new hobby? Learn the basic skills of birding and discover one of Florida’s premiere birding hot spots. Binoculars and field guides are provided. Easy terrain. Park entrance fee. Nature Trails The Boylston Nature Trail is a 45-minute walk through a shady, oak/palm hammock. A spur trail takes you to the Myakka Canopy Walkway and 74-foot high tower. Also, see information on Hiking Trails. More on Hiking Picnicking Picnic areas with tables and grills are designated on the park brochure and on the park map (download from right column of this page). Pavilions can be reserved for a fee. Unreserved pavilions are available on a first come basis. Primitive Camping Six primitive campsites are located along 37 miles of trails. Myakka River Primitive Campsites RV's RV's up to 35' are allowed in the park. A dump station is available. Tours Hop aboard one of the world's two largest airboats, the "Myakka Maiden," or the "Gator Gal" for a scenic cruise on the Upper Myakka Lake. Discover what makes the Myakka unique among America's freshwater lakes. Hear intriguing stories about the alligator, anhinga, and sandhill crane as you become acquainted with the variety of creatures that make their home here. These air-powered vessels venture into the shallow, grassy areas where traditional crafts of such size wouldn't dare to go. The leisurely ride is so safe and smooth you'll have no problem taking photographs to bring home. Tour schedule & prices You don't have to "rough it" to take Myakka Wildlife Tours' special "Tram Safari" into the backcountry of Myakka River State Park. Discover what life in old Florida was like as you see it through the eyes of the early settlers. Learn to detect clues of the presence of resident wildlife as you pass through shady hammocks, majestic pine flatwoods, fertile marshes and sunny prairies. If you want to gain an understanding of the intricate workings of a natural ecosystem in progress, you have to experience it for yourself. Tour schedule & prices Scenic Drive: A 7- mile drive winds through shady hammocks, grassy marshes and along the Upper Lake.