State Parks Sarasota FL

5 State Parks Near Sarasota FL: Discover the beauty of nature in Florida

I’m excited to share with you the natural wonders that await you in Sarasota, Florida. This picturesque city is not only known for its stunning beaches and vibrant arts scene but also for its abundance of state parks. These parks offer a perfect getaway for nature lovers, providing a range of outdoor activities and breathtaking scenic views.

Whether you’re looking to hike through lush forests, explore tranquil lakes, or spot wildlife in their natural habitats, Sarasota has something for everyone. Let’s dive into five state parks near Sarasota that are sure to leave you spellbound and provide a memorable nature experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the natural beauty of Sarasota, Florida through its state parks.
  • Engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, boating, and wildlife watching.
  • Explore Lake Manatee State Park and enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing in Lake Manatee.
  • Visit Beker – Wingate Creek State Park to kayak or canoe through lowland marshes and spot manatees.
  • Experience the vastness of Myakka River State Park with its boating, fishing, birdwatching, and hiking opportunities.
  • Unwind at Oscar Scherer State Park and indulge in swimming, hiking, and camping amidst pine flatwoods and freshwater lakes.

Now that you know what awaits you, let’s delve into each of these state parks in Sarasota, FL, and discover the remarkable experiences they offer.

Lake Manatee State Park

Lake Manatee State Park, located 25 miles northeast of Sarasota, is a picturesque destination offering a range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. Nestled around the scenic Lake Manatee, the park showcases the beauty of Florida’s natural landscapes.

Visitors to Lake Manatee State Park can enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters of the lake or engage in various water-based activities such as boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. The park also provides biking and hiking trails that wind through the lush surroundings, allowing visitors to explore the diverse flora and fauna of the area.

“Lake Manatee State Park is a true gem for outdoor lovers, providing an immersive experience in the heart of nature,” says Jane Adams, a local nature enthusiast. “Whether you’re seeking tranquility by the lake, seeking adventure on the water, or looking to immerse yourself in the fragrant pine forests, this park offers something for everyone.”

Furthermore, Lake Manatee State Park offers camping facilities for those looking to extend their stay. With water hookups and electrical connections available for RVs, camping in this serene setting provides the perfect opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of the park during both day and night.

Outdoor Activities Facilities
Swimming Camping (with water hookups and electrical connections)
Boating Picnic Areas
Canoeing Biking Trails
Kayaking Hiking Trails
Fishing Restrooms

Whether you’re seeking aquatic adventures, exploring the trails, or simply picnicking amidst nature, Lake Manatee State Park promises an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders and enjoy the tranquility of this majestic park.

Beker – Wingate Creek State Park

Located about 34 miles northeast of Sarasota, Beker – Wingate Creek State Park is a hidden gem in the heart of Florida. This 34-acre park is a nature lover’s paradise, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

One of the unique features of Beker – Wingate Creek State Park is its preserved population of manatees, providing visitors with the opportunity to observe these gentle creatures in their natural habitat. Kayaking and canoeing along the serene waterways is a popular activity, allowing you to explore the lowland marshes and discover the diverse wildlife that calls this park home.

Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, Beker – Wingate Creek State Park offers a range of outdoor activities to suit every interest. From birdwatching and photography to hiking and picnicking, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

To ensure the preservation of the park’s natural beauty, access to Beker – Wingate Creek State Park is limited to non-motorized vessels such as kayaks and canoes. This restriction ensures a peaceful and environmentally-friendly experience for all visitors.

Discover the untouched beauty of Beker – Wingate Creek State Park and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. Experience the magic of Sarasota’s nature parks and indulge in a variety of outdoor activities.

Beker - Wingate Creek State Park

Activities Facilities Location
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking
  • Picnicking
  • Non-motorized vessel launch
  • Picnic areas
Northeast of Sarasota

Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park, located about 19 miles southeast of Sarasota, is a true gem among the state parks in Florida. With its rich natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities, this park offers an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike.

One of the park’s main attractions is the picturesque Myakka River, which meanders through the park, providing ample opportunities for boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Whether you prefer a leisurely boat ride or an adventurous paddle along the river, you’ll be immersed in the stunning beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Birdwatchers will also be in paradise at Myakka River State Park. The park is home to a diverse array of bird species, making it a prime spot for birdwatching enthusiasts. Keep your binoculars handy as you explore the park’s trails and wetlands, and you may be rewarded with sightings of various colorful birds in their natural habitat.

Myakka Trail: A Hiker’s Haven

For those who love to explore on foot, the Myakka Trail is a must-visit. This scenic hiking trail winds its way through the park, offering breathtaking views of the diverse Florida landscape. From lush prairies to dense forests, the trail showcases the park’s natural wonders and allows hikers to immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of nature.

As you traverse the Myakka Trail, keep an eye out for wildlife sightings. Deer, alligators, and even the elusive Florida panther may make an appearance as you venture deeper into the park. Just be sure to bring comfortable hiking shoes, plenty of water, and your sense of adventure.

Camping Facilities for RVs and Tents

If you want to extend your stay and fully immerse yourself in the Myakka River State Park experience, camping is available within the park. The campground offers sites for both RVs and tents, allowing you to choose the accommodation that suits your preferences.

Camping in Myakka River State Park provides a unique opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature. Fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the wildlife and wake up to the crisp morning air, ready to embark on another day of adventure in the park.

Myakka River State Park

Oscar Scherer State Park

Located just 14 miles south of Sarasota, Oscar Scherer State Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts. The park boasts picturesque pine flatwoods and serene freshwater lakes, providing the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities in Sarasota, FL.

Visitors to Oscar Scherer State Park can take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the lakes, offering an invigorating escape from the Florida heat. The park also offers a network of well-maintained hiking trails that wind through the lush pine forests, allowing hikers to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

For those looking to extend their adventure, camping facilities are available at Oscar Scherer State Park. Spend a night under the stars and wake up to the sounds of nature surrounding you. Just be aware that during periods of heavy rainfall, some of the hiking trails may be wet, so proper footwear is recommended.


What outdoor activities are available at Lake Manatee State Park?

At Lake Manatee State Park, visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, biking, and hiking.

How far is Beker – Wingate Creek State Park from Sarasota?

Beker – Wingate Creek State Park is located approximately 34 miles northeast of Sarasota.

What unique opportunities does Beker – Wingate Creek State Park offer?

Beker – Wingate Creek State Park is known for its preserved population of manatees and provides opportunities for kayaking and canoeing.

Where is Myakka River State Park located?

Myakka River State Park is situated about 19 miles southeast of Sarasota.

What outdoor activities can be enjoyed at Myakka River State Park?

Myakka River State Park offers boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, birdwatching, and hiking along its scenic Myakka River.

How close is Oscar Scherer State Park to Sarasota?

Oscar Scherer State Park is located just 14 miles south of Sarasota.

What natural features can be found at Oscar Scherer State Park?

Oscar Scherer State Park features pine flatwoods and freshwater lakes, providing opportunities for swimming and hiking through the pine forests.

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