Myakka River State Park is one of Florida’s largest parks with 37,000 acres of its own. Home to the officially designated “Wild and Scenic” Myakka River, this state park is the perfect destination for outdoor adventurers who are looking to get closer to the natural, diverse Florida wildlife.
Choose from one of over 80 campsites and get ready to explore!
Bring your kayak and make your way through a variety of waterways where you can spot american alligators, snook, ospreys, and countless species of birds.
Embark on one of many hiking trails to explore more of the unique environments found within Myakka River State Park. Trek to the highlands to get a look at Florida’s traditional wetlands where marshes, cypress dome trees, and grazing birds will welcome you. Go even deeper to reach the diverse array of grasses, wildflowers, and vines that grow freely in the park’s protected dry prairies. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you! Short shrubs in the dry prairies allow visitors to see for miles in any direction.
You’ll also want to bring the camera atop the Canopy Walkway at Myakka River. Just a short walk from the main road, this suspension bridge provides a panoramic view of the entire park from a unique vantage point above the tree canopy. Every camper can find what they’re looking for at this Florida park.
One of the largest state parks in Florida. This great Park has full and partial hook ups for all styles of camping to include hammock camping. There are 6 primitive campgrounds; group camping and Cabins too! We stayed at the Palmetto Ridge campground which were gravel and had the full hook ups. The old prairie and big flats were regular ground surface electric/water (no sewer) . These also had a little less privacy. You will have 39 miles of hiking trails and off road/mountain biking at your pleasure. We bike with hybrid specialized bikes and had no problems off road. We were here in July. Fortunately, there is lots of shade even while hiking due to the canopy trees and this kept things cooler during in the summer. We did not have a problem with biting bugs until nightfall. You will enjoy biking the 7 miles of paved (flat) roads in Park. There are Rivers and lakes for kayaking/canoe and we enjoyed the fishing and paddling. Great gift shop and cafe area near boat launch on lake. There is even a flat bottom boat tour on the Upper Myakka lake. The visitor center offers a lot of rentals too… from kayaks to tandem bikes. (For the die hard road bikers it is only 12.5 miles to Legacy Rail to trail). We had a blast and our video goes into more detail about the park. Be sure to visit the nearby Crowley Nature Center less than 5 miles away. (Crowley nature center is a separate video located on our YouTube channel and website)
I’m pretty sure this was the first campground I ever went to as a kid, and then every spring break following. Only recently stopped going with my family. As far as Florida camping goes though, this is probably my favorite.
Went during the summer, half of the park was under water from unusually high levels of rains but the park itself is very quiet and out of the way. Perfect if you want to get away as cell phones don’t always work out there. They have a couple of tours you can take as well. The treetop walk was a really amazing view of the surrounding area. The dear were right out by the road not paying any attention to the people going by.
In the month of May a beautiful bloom erupts in the fields of Myakka River State Park. It is a must see! Also check out the short hike to the Alligator Pit. Permits must be obtained early in the morning.
This is a nice state park, with access to some hikes and also kayaking on the river. We saw some gators on the side of the road, which was cool! The campground is very nice, when the weather is good! The bathrooms are clean and well kept.
Myakka River State Park is a not to miss Florida State Park. Don't let the proximity to Sarasota Fool You! It is very close to Sarasota which makes it a good stop if you are visiting the area or an outstanding stop if you are from out of town as you can enjoy a little bit of Surf and Turf.
As a Sarasota local who loves the outdoors, I've visited most of Florida's State Parks and this is one of my favorites for sure. We tend to neglect what we can do and see everyday and this is no exception. I'm always amazed.
This time we camped out for the weekend even though we live about 10 miles away and we have never felt so far from home while being so close. Probably my first"staycation".
You can paddle, hike, ride or just chill in this really large state park. Super clean and well run. All the staff are really nice and you can tell they enjoy being there.
This park is the real deal and you will feel you are in another world. Get out and explore!
Sidebar: A lot of people ask me why I share my favorite"secret" places with total strangers and the answer is that the very best places everywhere are under tremendous pressure from growth, development and environmental pressure. Once you see a place like this you will forever be changed and hopefully become an advocate for preserving them wherever you may be.
Took my best friends on their first camping trip. We walked 5 miles to our campground. We took many beer breaks but were able to see so much wild life on our walk there. It was in the middle of nowhere, quiet, green, and perfect for our needs. I loved it and will be returning every year for this biological recharge my soul and body needs.
Let me start by saying that I live very close to Myakka River Sate Park and it has been a place that four generations of my family have been enjoying for over 40 years. It is very large for a state park. You can spends days hiking the trails and paddling the river and lakes. The wildlife is everywhere! What would you like to see? Deer, wild hogs, alligators, birds of all kinds? You will probably see these and more at just about any time of year.
There is a nice interpretive center, picnic grounds, boat tours, canoe and kayak rentals, and a tram tour through the park. Don't miss the canopy walk. It's a great way to see a part of the park's ecosystem that we normally only see from below. You also get a great view of the park in all directions from the top of the tower. Florida is flat and views like these are hard to come by. There is also a restaurant and store where you can get pretty good food with a view of the lake. My wife wants to make sure you know you can also get ice cream at the restaurant.
There are three camping areas for tents and RVs. The two older areas are called Big Flats and Old Prairie. The sites in these areas are close to each other and there is little or no under story between them. There is water and electric at each site with clean but older bathroom facilities. Both of the campgrounds are also close to the main road with some sites backing up to the road. There is a convenient dump station inside the park but no sewer hookups in these two campgrounds.
The third and newest campground is called Palmetto Ridge. This one was obviously built primarily for large RVs with water, electric and sewer connections at every site. The bathroom facilities are more up to date and very nice. They are also not used as much by the campers because this area is mostly filled with huge motor coaches and fifth wheels that all have their own facilities and do not need to worry about their holding tanks because they have full hookups. The sites are pretty roomy and there is plenty of under story in between to keep you from feeling like you are right on top of your neighbors. There are quite a few pull trough sites in this area. They are improved gravel sites and most are very level. The sewer hookups are a little higher than you would expect. It will take some supports to keep a positive flow. If you know how much it rains here in the Summertime you will know why these must be kept above the flood stage level.
A note about rain: Florida gets a lot of rain in the Summertime. It is not uncommon to get multiple inches of rain in a very short time and this can happen almost any day between June and the end of September. The river and lake do flood and large parts of the park are in their flood plain. the Big Flats campground can be shut down because it is the closest to the lake. This is not a reason to avoid Myakka in the Summertime. We have camped there in June and August and if you find someplace cool to hangout during the day you will be rewarded with very pleasant walks and paddles with lots of wildlife to see in the mornings and evenings. Pro tip: If you are staying in the park, get up really early to see the sunrise from the top of the canopy walk.
There are two other ways to spend the night in Myakka River State Park. There are cabins available to rent and primitive camp sites in the hiking areas. The cabins have recently been rebuilt and I must admit I have not seen the new ones. We did stay in the original cabins before we got our RV and they were very nice for a family getaway. With a kitchen, bathroom and air conditioning they are a very comfortable way to spend some time in the park. The original cabins were built with palm logs by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). The CCC was a program to create jobs and improve public facilities during and after the Great Depression. Some of that construction can still be seen at one of the picnic areas in the park. There is also a monument to the CCC inside the park. Backpackers can spend a few days hiking the trails and camping at the primitive sites. Haven't done that myself since I was a kid back in the 70s but they were great trips. No noise or light pollution. On a cool, clear night the star gazing in fantastic. My wife wants me to make sure you know that she won't be at the primitive campsites but hopes you enjoy yourself and not to forget about the ice cream.
For native Sarasotans, Myakka River State Park is a beloved point of pride. Most people never leave the beach when they come here for a visit and miss what the rest of Florida looks like. It is well worth your time to spend a few nights away from the beach and see what else makes this such a special place. This is a very popular spot and the campsites and cabins book up early especially for the Winter months. Reservations can be made 11 months in advance on the reserve America website.
Hidden cabins, hiking, off-road biking, boating, wildlife…so much beauty and activities to enjoy in this park! The cabins are off the main path, tucked away and private. They are super roomy and comfortable with their own picnic tables and grills. You can launch canoes/kayaks or book a trip on the boats in the park. If you like off-road biking there are several nice trails. Really family-friendly!
This was a great state park. Sites are close together and not much barriers between. Bathrooms were clean, good hot shower. Plenty of wildlife to see. Alligators, birds, wild hogs, deer, and more. If you are a bird lover this is a place you should stop. Hiking, fishing, kayaking, plenty to keep you busy. They have an observation tower and suspension bridge. Park is not far from beaches or city of Sarasota. We stayed 5 days could of stayed longer. Park is busy on weekends, not so bad during week. Park staff were very friendly and helpful.