Lake Manatee State Park is located 15 miles east of Bradenton, Florida on State Road 64. It extends three miles along the south shore of beautiful Lake Manatee, our namesake. The lake was created when a dam was built across the Manatee River in the mid-1960s. Despite the park’s name, visitors cannot actually see manatees at this park because the dam blocks their access to the lake.
The lake offers excellent freshwater fishing and anglers can fish from their boats or from the park's fishing docks. A boat ramp provides easy access to the lake for boating, canoeing and kayaking; boat motors must be less than 20 horsepower.
A swimming beach is located in our day-use area for those who want to cool off on those hot summer days or just soak in the rays. Please swim at your own risk, as lifeguards are not provided. A restroom facility with showers is located near the beach. A large picnic area is nestled in oaks next to the lake. A picnic pavilion is available on a first-come, first-serve basis or may be reserved for a fee.
Campers can enjoy full-facility camping, just a short walk from the lake. The park’s natural habitats consists primarily of pine flatwoods and sand pine scrub with some depression marshes and hardwood forest. A hike down one of our trails is like taking a step back in time, providing a glimpse of the real Florida.