Experiences & Amenities
Due to recent heavy rains, the park is experiencing some minor flooding. Currently all trails are very wet and Clay Gully picnic area is closed. Please contact the ranger station at 941-361-6511 for additional information or current conditions.
New Boat Tours
The airboat tours have been replaced with pontoon boat tours. Boat tour times are 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 plus tax for adults and $12 plus tax for children 3-12. Toddlers 2 and under are free. Current military and first responders with photo identification receive a 10% discount for ID holder.
Myakka offers cyclers an opportunity to explore a diverse Florida natural system. Seven miles of paved road wind through shady hammocks, along grassy marshes and the Upper Lake shore. The North Drive often has less traffic than the Main Drive. Bicycles are permitted on backcountry dirt roads north of S.R. 72 and on the Myakka Island Trail to the Carlton Reserve. Some roads are hardpacked and grassed-over, others may be sandy, muddy, or dug up by feral pigs. Roads are often flooded in summer. Maps are available at the Ranger Station. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.
Myakka is a wonderful place to see birds of all kinds. Myakka's 37,000 plus acres provides wonderful habitat for wading birds, raptors, song birds, migratory birds and ducks. Whether you are a professional or amateur, you won't be disappointed. From November through mid April, there is a bird naturalist at the Bird Walk, most days of the week from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Call the ranger station ahead of time to see if they are on duty the day you plan to visit at 941-361-6511.
Permission has been granted to come aboard one of the world's two largest airboats, the "Myakka Maiden" or the “Gator Gal" for a scenic cruise on Upper Myakka Lake. Discover what makes the Myakka unique among America's freshwater lakes. Hear intriguing stories about the alligator, anhinga, and sandhill crane as you become acquainted with the variety of creatures that make their home here.
These air-powered vessels venture into shallow, grassy areas where traditional crafts of such size wouldn't dare to go. The leisurely ride is so safe and smooth you'll have no problem taking photographs to bring home.
The park features three campgrounds with 90 campsites. Each site is equipped with 50 amp electrical service, water, a fire ring and picnic table. The sites in Palmetto Ridge also have sewer hook ups. A dump station is located near Old Prairie Campground. Laundry facilities are available to all campers in Old Prairie and Palmetto Ridge Campgrounds. All campsites are located within 40 yards of restroom facilities with hot showers. Sites in Old Prairie and Big Flats are dirt based. The sites in Palmetto Ridge are gravel-based, except for four ADA paved sites adjoining rest rooms. Old Prairie and Big Flats do not have vegetation buffers. The Big Flats Campground is located near the Upper Myakka Lake where tours are available on the world’s largest airboats. Myakka Outpost, a fishing deck and WiFi are also nearby. Old Prairie and Palmetto Ridge Campgrounds are located near the S.R. 72 park entrance, the Myakka River, the Campfire Circle, a small playground, and Myakka Friends Gallery & Gifts. Well behaved pets are welcome in these three campgrounds.
- Hammock camping is permitted on campsites #7, 8, 11, 15, 23, 27, 33, 48
- Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287 .
There are six primitive campgrounds located along the hiking trails for backpackers. Please be aware that there is no guarantee that there will be potable water at the primitive site, so bring enough to last you throughout your whole trip. The terrain can be rough, and even on the coolest days, dehydration is a possibility.
- No pets allowed. You must arrive a certain number of hours before sunset in order for us to allow you to do your hike. To find out more information, call the Ranger Station at the number below.
- Primitive camping is $5 per night, per person.
- If you are interested in reserving one our primitive campsites, call the Ranger Station at 941-361-6511.
The 66-mile "Florida Wild and Scenic" Myakka River flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks and pinelands, starting in NE Manatee County and ending in Charlotte Harbor. Fourteen miles flows through Myakka River State Park. The river and its two shallow lakes attract a myriad of wetland creatures making birding, canoeing, fishing and wildlife observation popular activities.Canoeing and kayaking south of State Road 72, within the park, is limited access and requires a permit from the ranger station. If you plan to canoe or kayak during your visit, you may bring your own vessel or rent from the Outpost located within the park.
The Myakka Trail includes 38.9 miles of loop trails and is maintained by the Florida Trail Association. Backcountry roads crisscross the trail allowing hikers to shorten or lengthen their hiking trips. Discover shady live oak/palm hammocks, sandy pine flatwoods, sunny dry prairies, and marshes teaming with life. The best thing about hiking at Myakka is that it offers visitors relief from life's daily hassle and a chance to "get away from it all." Late fall, winter and early spring are ideal hiking seasons. Summer hiking, especially on the shadeless prairie, can be extremely hot and hikers should beware of heat exhaustion and stress. Insects may be a problem at any time. Trails are often flooded during rainy periods and may be over grown in the summer and early fall. Always carry water, a map and compass or GPS and wear appropriate sturdy footwear. Maps are available at the Ranger Station.
Canopy Walkway at Myakka River State Park
The Myakka Canopy Walkway provides easy access to observe life in the treetops of an oak/palm hammock. As an outdoor laboratory for research and education, it is a place for discovery and opportunity for visitors to Myakka to see its canopy inhabitants up close. Completed in 2000, this structure is the first public treetop trail in North America. The walkway is suspended 25 feet above the ground and extends 100 feet through the hammock canopy. A tower soars 74 feet in the air to present a spectacular view of tree tops, wetlands and the prairie/hammock interface. You can look down on eagles, hawks, vultures and the tips of live oaks and palm trees. For park visitor safety, only leashed service dogs are permitted on the Canopy Walkway.
Please come see our Visitor Center where you can watch five short movies about Myakka and see many wildlife exhibits. It's a good way to get your visit started, especially for Myakka "First Timers." Once you pass the ranger station, take your first left to the parking lot. The Visitor Center is located across the parking lot in an old Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) horse barn. The building itself, built 80 years ago, is worth checking out.
Concession and Restaurant
Enjoy lunch, dessert or a craft beer while taking in the sights of the beautiful Upper Myakka Lake. Try our famous, homemade alligator stew, seafood gumbo, hand-breaded gator bites, garden veggie burger or one of our fresh, deli subs. Don't forget to stop by the Ice Cream Parlor for dessert. You can also visit Myakka Gifts and Boutique where you can take home a Myakka souvenir. The Nature Gift Shop has jewelry, local art, home décor, Florida books, tee-shirts, hats, camp fashions and much more!
Stay the night in a log cabin at one of Florida's oldest and largest state parks. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1934 and 1941, each of the historic palm log cabins includes a bathroom with shower, fully equipped kitchen and a large common room that sleeps up to six guests. A porch and fireplace add to the charm of these historic cabins. Linens, light thermal blankets, kitchen utensils, coffee pot and microwave oven are provided.
- For the guest's relaxation, televisions and phones are not provided.
- Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287. Pets are not permitted in cabins.
- There is a minimum two nights stay in cabins on weekends and holidays, either Friday and Saturday night, or Saturday and Sunday nights. A single Friday or Saturday night may be reserved only if the following Saturday or Sunday night is already reserved.