Commemorating the landing of Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando De Soto, the De Soto National Memorial is a significant archaeological site where the Manatee River flows into Tampa Bay. The Riverview Point Trail offers perspectives of waterfront habitats and passes by memorials for early visitors to this shore. It connects with the interpretive trail within the park, which loops through a mangrove forest on boardwalks at the point where river and bay meet.
Length: 1.1 mile
Lat-Long: 27.520350, -82.644483
Fees / Permits: none
Bug factor: low to moderate
Restroom: yes, at visitor center
Do take the time to visit the visitor center and the Timucua village before meandering the trail system. The interpretive markers along the trail are elaborate and worth pausing for—you’ll learn a good deal of Florida’s early history.
From I-75 exit 220B, follow SR 64 (Manatee Ave) west 12 miles, passing through downtown Bradenton, to reach 75th St W. Turn right and continue 2 miles to the parking area on the right, just before the National Memorial entrance gate. If the trailhead is full, continue into the park and start at the other trailhead, behind the visitor center.
Starting from the Riverview Point Trail trailhead outside the park boundary, a broad shell path leads you through sand pines and a shady hammock before coming to the edge of the Manatee River, where there are two major memorials along the trail as it turns and enters the National Memorial grounds. At the loop, turn right and follow the trail around Shaw’s Point, where boardwalks carry you through mangrove forests. After visiting the Memorial, continue around the loop and return along the same