Manager's Message

Myakka River

Stephen Giguere, Park Manager

Myakka River is an amazing park to enjoy an immersive experience into a diverse and dynamic natural area that is the Real Florida

The park is over 37,000 acres and is part of a larger area of conservation referred to as the “Myakka Island,” totaling more than 80,000 acres of conservation lands within Sarasota and Manatee counties. 

The park was developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It was centered around the Myakka River and its expansive floodplain. Now a state-designated Wild and Scenic River, the Myakka is primarily fed by rainfall and experiences pulses of high and low water levels seasonally. 

Summer rains fill the floodplain, leading to high water levels that are ideal for paddling and experiencing wildlife up close. As the park transitions to the winter and dry season, the floodplain recedes to the river and, by the spring, the river will slowly dry up and even go dry in sections. This dramatic shift in water levels provides quite a different experience for visitors throughout the year. 

From the blooms of vivid wildflowers and grasses in the Florida dry prairie in October to a sea of bright yellow coreopsis in the floodplain marshes in May, there is a rich diversity of plant species to observe throughout the park.        

Check with the ranger station for the most current park conditions.