Amid 210 acres along the edge of Lemon Bay in Englewood, Lemon Bay Park and Environmental Center showcases pine flatwoods, freshwater marshes, and the mangrove-lined shores of this bay off the Gulf of Mexico. Surrounding the Environmental Center, several miles of accessible trails connect the habitats and provide interpretation and the opportunity for wildlife watching.
Length: 2.7 miles
Lat-Long: 26.973450, -82.374133
Type: trail system with multiple spurs, see maps
Fees / Permits: free
Bug factor: moderate to high
Restroom: at the nature center
Open daily 6 AM-dusk. More than half of the trail system has accessible surfaces. Shade is limited, so use sun protection. A canoe and kayak launch is near the Environmental Center.
From the junction of CR 776 and US 41 in Venice, drive south into Englewood. Turn right on Dearborn Street and drive west through old Englewood Village to Buchman’s Landing. Turn right at the stop sign. After 0.5 mile, make a left on Stuart Street. After another 0.3 mile, turn right on Curtis Boulevard, and make the first left on Brengel Avenue, which leads into the park entrance. Walk through the arbor at the end of the parking lot to access the trail system.
Follow the Eagle Trail to enter a vast pine flatwoods for a walk under the pines, the open understory offering up a sweeping view as you work your way up to the northern end of the preserve, with multiple options – the Fern Loop, the Bobcat Trail, the Gopher Tortoise Trail, and the Lupine Loop Trail – to provide glimpses into a freshwater swamp, a forest of ferns, and the Intracoastal Waterway. A pair of eagles nest in the preserve, and can be seen from a “scope” along the Eagle Trail.
The trails on the southern end are along the Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve and include a boardwalk around a mangrove forest. Enjoy the views along the Intracoastal Waterway.