Sarasota is known for its beaches, and has coastal hiking trails that show off Sarasota Bay and the estuaries. Inland, however, is a large swath of natural lands protecting the Myakka River floodplain, including Myakka River State Park, which has a four-day backpacking loop amid wide open prairies and oak hammocks.

Nearby: Arcadia, Bradenton, Venice

Trails and Parks in Sarasota

  • Lake Osprey Trail Lake Osprey Trail - Circling Lake Osprey, the wheelchair-accessible Lake Osprey Trail at Oscar Scherer State Park offers an exploration of the uplands surrounding the artesian-spring-fed waters.
  • Marie Selby Gardens Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - Most notable for its collection of more than 6,000 orchids, Marie Selby Gardens are a must-see for those who love tropical plants, especially epiphtyes. The many specialized gardens range from a children's garden play area to succulents and cycads to a banyan grove, mangrove walkway, and tropical fruit and medicinal gardens.
  • Myakka Hiking Trail Myakka Hiking Trail - For immersion in Florida's central prairies, the 39-mile Myakka Hiking Trail is a serious backpacking destination in South Florida near Sarasota
  • Myakka Canopy Walk Myakka River Canopy Walk - At Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, the Canopy Walk provides a sky-high view of the Myakka River basin as well as an intimate immersion in the live oak canopy in a beautiful hammock of oaks and palms.
  • Sunset on Bee Island Myakka River State Park - With tall waving grasses, saw palmetto, and the sound of birds, Myakka River State Park immerses you in Florida's Big Sky country amid wide open prairies and riverside marshes.
  • Along South Creek at Oscar Scherer State Park Oscar Scherer State Park - Blurs of blue flash between the diminutive scrub oaks as a family of Florida scrub-jays settle in, curious as to your approach. These colorful birds are only found in Florida, and Oscar Scherer State Park is their biggest stronghold in Southwest Florida.
  • Oscar Scherer South Creek South Creek and Lester Finley Trails - The South Creek and Lester Finley Trails are part of the South Trail System at Oscar Scherer State Park, focusing on the flow of South Creek towards Little Sarasota Bay.

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