By Best Western Siesta Kay
October 2, 2023
As one of the oldest parks in Florida, intermediate and advanced kayakers will find Myakka River State Park to be a beautiful and fun place to spend a day on the water. Explore 58 square miles of wetlands, pinelands, hammocks, and prairies, and keep your eyes open for alligators, roseate spoonbills, wild turkey, boar, turtles, and white-tailed deer.
Launch your kayaks in Ted Sperling Park, located at South Lido Beach, and marvel at the natural beauty and wildlife found within the mangrove tunnels. These exotic tunnels are naturally created by waterways and estuaries and are home to hermit crabs, channeled whelk, brown pelicans, great blue herons, and even dolphins and manatees.
Home to Alligator Creek and Forked Creep, Caspersen Trail is a popular spot for kayakers. Conveniently set sail at Caspersen Beach Park and travel south through mangrove-lined trails on the bayside. This kayaking route is a wonderful way for bird watchers to spot a few Florida natives, like osprey, herons, and pelicans, that may be flying above or resting in the grassy areas.
The Neville Marine Preserve Trail offers a relaxing kayak trip. Begin by launching at Turtle Beach and make your way along the Gulf of Mexico, past Midnight Pass, and into Little Sarasota Bay. Enjoy paddling and floating through mangroves, lagoons, uninhabited beaches, and of course, Jim Neville Preserve. In the shallow waters of the preserve, manatees, and a few brave dolphins, have been known to swim right up to greet visitors and local kayakers.
Travel along Casey Key Island and make your way into the famous Oscar Sherer State Park. Full of lush native plants and ever-flourishing vegetation, Oscar Sherer State Park offers walking trails, swimming, and fishing in addition to kayaking. You can also catch a 90-minute guided kayaking tour every Wednesday morning with local volunteer tour guides.