Florida State Parks are in various stages of accessibility, and are working to improve access to services and facilities. Should you need assistance to enable your full participation, please contact the individual park office as soon as possible. Sometimes as many as ten days may be needed to schedule a particular accommodation.

Management & Protection
Florida State Parks are managed as natural systems. All plant and animal life is protected in state parks. Hunting, livestock grazing and timber removal are not permitted. Do not remove, deface, mutilate or molest any natural resources. For your safety, do not feed any animals. Intoxicants and firearms are prohibited.

Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

Pets are not allowed in camping areas, on bathing beaches, in concession areas and may be restricted in other designated areas of the park. Where pets are allowed, they must be kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and well-behaved at all times. Service dogs are welcome in all areas of the parks.

State Park Guide
To discover and experience all of the Real Florida at Florida's 145 state parks, ask a Park Ranger where you can pick up a copy of the Florida State Park Guide, or call 850/488-9872.

What is a CSO?
Citizens Support Organizations are non- profit corporations given special status by Florida law that make it possible for you to support your favorite state parks. In these times of budget shortages CSO's are critical for providing much needed funds and manpower.

Who are the Friends?
The Friends of the Myakka River, Inc. is a non-profit group established to protect, preserve and support Myakka River State Park and the" Florida Wild and Scenic" Myakka River. The Friends raise funds and provide volunteer services to improve your enjoyment of the park and river.

All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Friends of the Myakka River, Inc. is classified as "not-a-private" foundation under section 509(a).

January, 1998

Guided Walks
Saturday Mornings at 9:00 am
Take a walk with a ranger as your guide. Explore shady hammocks, sunny prairies or a winding riverbank. The walks last about an hour. Wear comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing. You may wish to bring mosquito repellent and sunscreen. Entrance fees charged upon arrival to park. No additional charge for walks. Meet at the "Nature Trail" sign about 8/10 mile from the south park entrance.

Campfire Programs
Saturday Evenings at 7:30 pm
Did you ever hear an alligator roar? Can you fathom coming face to beak with a bird nearly as tall as you? How is a phoenix like a Florida landscape? Now you see me, now you don't--learn to spot those creatures who employ camouflage as their method of defense. Each week a different slide show presents one of the many stories of Myakka. Though the audience usually consists of campers and cabin renters, all park visitors are welcome. There is no additional charge.

Beginning Birding
Sunday Mornings at 9:00 am.
Learn to use binoculars and field guides as your ranger guide takes you into the field to discover flies, squawks and tweets along the Myakka River. Wear comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather. The class lasts approximately one hour. No charge except park entrance fees. Meet at the Visitor Center across the park drive from the State Road 72 park entrance.

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Reservations for
Florida State
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Reserve America,

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Over 45 square miles of woodlands, wetlands and prairie invite you to explore by foot, bicycle, canoe or auto. The park is famous for its abundant wildlife and quiet, scenic beauty. Be sure to stop by the visitor center to watch the Myakka Movies and discover how the park is restoring one of our country's rarest communities--Florida dry prairie. Spend a day or camp overnight in the campgrounds or in one of the log cabins built by the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The Myakka "Wild and Scenic River" flows through the western portion of the park and its two lakes and floodplain marshes are a haven for wading birds and waterfowl. The scenic drive winds through shady hammocks, verdant marshes and along the Upper Myakka Lakeshore. Airboat tours, tram rides, and ranger-led walks provide insight into one of Florida's last remaining wildernesses.

Hop aboard one of the world's two largest airboats, the "Myakka Maiden," or the "Gator Gal" for a scenic cruise on the 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 the 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.

You don't have to "rough it" to take Myakka Wildlife Tours' special "Tram Safari" into the back country of Myakka River State Park. Discover what life in old Florida was like as you see it through the eyes of the early settlers. Learn to detect clues of the presence of resident wildlife as you pass through shady hammocks, majestic pine flatwoods, fertile marshes and sunny prairies. If you want to gain an understanding of the intricate workings of a natural ecosystem in progress, you have to experience it for yourself.

Myakka offers birders an exciting lineup of birding experiences. Diversity of habitat is responsible for the variety of birds that can be seen in a day. Herons and ibis feed in shallow lakes and fertile marshes; eagles nest in pine flatwoods and steal fish from successful ospreys; and the calls of meadowlarks and bobwhite echo through the prairies.

Winter and spring bring flocks of ducks, warblers, wading birds and hawks. It is a time when the waters of the Myakka River and Upper and Lower Myakka Lakes are at their lowest. The shallow waters often entice large flocks of wading birds into a feeding frenzy.

Park Rangers offer Beginning Birding classes at 9:00 a.m. on Sundays from Thanksgiving to Easter. New birders learn to use field guides and binoculars, then go out into the field to discover the pleasures of birding.

In the early 1930's local residents recognized the Myakka River Valley as a valuable part of their heritage, worthy of preserving for future generations. We can thank them for their perseverence in establishing Myakka River as one of Florida's first state parks.

Myakka River--Wild & Scenic
Because of strong citizen interest in protecting its scenic qualities, the Myakka was declared an official Florida Wild and Scenic River by State Legislature in 1985.

When development threatened and adjoining the park in 1992, thousands of Floridians wrote to legislators petitioning for its protection. The campaign was a success. The land was purchased with Preservation 2000 funds and now the park manages an additional 8,249 acres.

The five palm log cabins were built by the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps. They include an air conditioner, electric stove & refrigerator and hot water showers.

$55 per night for up to 4 people

$5 each additional person

$3 extra vehicle

There is no extra charge for children under 6 years or members of the same immediate family (parents and dependent children). Maximum Occupancy 6 persons. Rental Deposit required.

Check in: 4 p.m. Check out: 11 a.m.

Reservations are accepted by phone or in person. Call (941) 361-6511

Call up to 11 months in advance to reserve cabins for 2 to 14 nights. One night reservations are accepted up to 30 days in advance for Sunday through Thursday nights (except holidays). Cabins may be rented for one night on weekends or holidays when available.

Special Notation:
Cabins are very popular and often are completely booked for weekends, months in advance. Holidays are often booked 11 months in advance. If you are unable to reserve cabins for the days you need them, there is a private campground on the Myakka River that also rents cabins. Contact Venice Campground for information.

Cabin Refund Policy
Reservation deposit fee, less handling fee, will be refunded from Tallahassee if the reservation is canceled at least 14 days prior to check in date.

Cancellations received later than 14 days prior to the scheduled check-in date or after arrival at the park: (reservation fee, less handling fee), will be refunded from Tallahassee if the cabin can be rented for the remainder of the nights reserved.

Sorry, no pets allowed in the campgrounds.

Cabins at other locations:
Venice Campground is a private campground on the Myakka River (south of Sarasota) that offers camping and cabins.

Take a canoe along the Myakka River.....

Fourteen miles of the Myakka Wild and Scenic river flows through the park. Bring your own canoe or rent from Myakka River Outpost. A boat ramp on the Upper Myakka Lake provides access to the river and both lakes. Additional canoe launch locations are at picnic areas along the main drive. During periods of low water (winter and spring) it is necessary to portage around the weir at the south end of the Upper Myakka Lake. It may also be necessary to portage along shallow portions of the river or when blockages of water hyacinths occur.

Rental Prices at Canoe Outpost
Deposit Required: $30 + Driver's License
 0 - 2 hours  $10
 2 - 4 hours  $18
 4 hours - All Day  $25

Camping is available in one of two family campgrounds within walking distance from the Myakka River or the Upper Myakka Lake. Campsites accommodate tents, trailers, or motorized campers up to 35' long. Each site includes a picnic table and grill. Sites with water and electric are available. A dump station for sewage disposal is also available. Reservations are taken by phone up to 11 months in advance.

Rates: Dec-April $15 per night; May - Nov $11 per night. Electricity $2 per night. Extra person & extra car rates may also apply.

Six primitive campsites are located along a 39-mile hiking trail. Hike through oak-palm forest, dry prairie, pine flatwoods and wetlands. Shortest hike to a campground is 2 1/2 miles. Shaded campsites have pitcher pumps but water must be treated. Reservations are taken up to 11 months in advance. $3 per person per night for adults. Children under 18 are $2.

Three group camp sites are available for organized groups such as church groups, scouts and civic clubs. Reservations are taken by phone up to 11 months in advance. Tents only, no electric available. Bathrooms have showers with hot water. Each site has tables and grills and accommodates up to 20 persons. Adults $3 per night. Children under 18 are $2.

Myakka River State Park is located 9 miles east of Sarasota on S.R. 72.

For more information about Myakka River State Park, contact:
Myakka River State Park
13207 S.R. 72
Sarasota, FL 34241
or call (941) 361-6511

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