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“Lots of wildlife (mostly birds).”

Myakka River State Park
Ranked #8 of 148 things to do in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the original Civilian Conservation Corps parks.
Reviewed February 21, 2014

We walked along the Myakka River, near the park entrance, almost a mile loop, not an established trail. Then we took the Nature Trail and Canopy Walkway trails for about 1.3 miles. Finally, we went on the Birdwalk on Upper Myakka Lake. We saw many Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, Osprey, Great Egrets, other egrets, Brown Pelicans, Black Vultures, Gators, and a Bald Eagle soaring over Upper Myakka Lake. On previous visits, we had taken the airboat tour of Upper Myakka Lake, but they were not operating this time (late January).
We enjoyed the park and spent over 4 hours here.

1  Thank BigTXN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 330 reviews
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1,759 - 1,763 of 2,637 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2014

Myakka River State Park is a beautiful park. There is a small visitor's center at the entrance with some interesting displays but the main attraction is the wildlife. A mile in there is a bridge with nearby parking which is a good place to see alligators and birdlife. We took the hour boat ride during which we saw lots of alligators and birdlife. Our guide was captain Ken who was terrific. There also is a bird walk in the park which goes out over the wetlands and is another way to see the different birds. The canopy walk was fun but you have to be able to walk quite a few steps. TIPS: Go in the morning when you have a better chance to see wildlife and it is not as busy. Bring binoculars and one of those laminated sheets used for bird identification that you can purchase at many different stores in the area. Try to visit on a day when it is not windy and the alligators are more likely to be on the shore rather than in the water. If you are going to take the boat or tram ride buy those tickets early on in your visit. The boats alternate the direction they take around the lake. You see more if seated on the side closest to the shore. Try to determine which way your boat will go so you can choose the best side to sit on.

Thank 5VIC9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2014

I spent 5 hours of fun here on a coolish 65°F mid-February Saturday during the Presidents' Day holiday weekend. It was my very first visit here even though I've lived within 5 hours of this park for over 26 years. It was actually quite busy on this Saturday, but that was expected considering the weather was nice. It never felt crowded, as this is a HUGE State Park with plenty of room to roam. It's about a 7-mile drive from the south end to the north end on the main park road, but nearly all of the attractions are along the southern half of the road. I did some nature trail hiking on my own (several miles), and I took two organized tours (air boat and tram) courtesy of the concessionaire (Myakka Wildlife Tours) at the big lake. Both tours cost a combined $18, and they were definitely worth it. The tour guides were very informative, knowledgeable, and even amusing. I'd do the tours again on my next visit to the park. There will definitely be a next visit too. I found this hidden gem that seems so far away from the suburban sprawl of Sarasota but is less than 10 miles east of I-75 !

1  Thank ChrisMDay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2014

Took the air boat ride and the guide was wonderful at telling us about alligators and birds. Can't make reservations ahead and it was a busy place and we had to wait a couple hours for a ride. A good restaurant while you wait and plenty of shade. Trails to walk and see wildlife. Didn' take the tram ride but it also looked like fun and educational.

1  Thank sugarbushfarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 19, 2014

We spent three great nights in the Big Flats campground. While it's the most remote, it's very convenient to the Cafe, river tours, lots of walks, and Upper Myakka Lake. All the sites in this area were partially or fully shaded. Showers were clean with good water pressure but the hot water wasn't very hot. The vultures can be a little annoying but didn't bother the people or our dog. The park it self is a plethora of animal life. We saw wild pigs, deer, plenty of alligators, and multiple varieties of birds. The Birdwalk is an excellent place to quietly watch birds at sunrise. The Old Prairie sites looked excellent though most had little shade.

Thank ThomasH133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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