Natural Area Parks, Preserves and Trails

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Park Closures: 

We work hard to keep parks safe and ready for you, however these parks are currently closed. Please visit one of our many other sites and be sure to check back frequently for updates.

  • The Legacy Trail southern terminus south of 41 pedestrian overpass to Venice Train Depot: beginning on or about Feb. 5, will be closed for approximately two days will be closed for erosion repair from Hatchet Creek Erosion. 
    • Southbound users will need to take an alternative route to access south of this point. Northbound users will need to use an alternative trail head to access trail. 
  • The Legacy Trail: continuous ongoing maintenance - trail open.
    •  Please be cautious and slow down where workers are present.
  • Osprey Junction Trailhead, 939 E. Bay St., Osprey will be closed for approximately twelve months (re-open expected fall 2018) due to a road construction project.
    •  The intersection of Laurel Road and The Legacy Trail will be closed due to the Legacy Trail Pedestrian Overpass Project.
    • Trail users please follow the detour.
    • The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2018.
  • Shamrock Park and Nature Center, 3900 Shamrock Drive, Venice:Tennis Court Renovations have begun Feb. 13, 2018). 

  1.  Tennis Courts one and two are now complete. 
  2. Renovations are in progress on Tennis Courts three and four. 
  3. Please note Shamrock Park and Nature Center remains open.

Discover Natural Sarasota

Did you know that Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources manages over 50,000 acres of natural areas? Enjoy hiking, biking or horse riding through prairie hammocks and pine flatwoods. Find the natural area park perfect for you in the list of facilities below. 


For information about upcoming nature walks, go to the Activity Search for the Calendar of Events, select “Nature Walks” from the drop down menu and click “GO.”

Primitive Camping

Enjoy a "wild" night at T. Marby Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve or Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. Primitive campsites can be reserved up to one year in advance by calling 941-861-7275.

  • Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park

    MCEP view of creek2
    1. Address:6968 Reisterstown Road
      North Port, FL 34291
    1. Bicycling
    2. Birding
    3. Camping
    4. Picnicking
    5. Restroom
    6. Shelter / Pavilion
    7. Trail - Equestrian
    8. Trail - Unpaved
    9. Wildlife Viewing
    1. Natural Areas
    2. Trails

Activities: hiking, horseback riding and primitive camping (by reservation).

  • Four miles of multi-use trails along a blackwater creek lined with century-old oaks.
  • A natural area where visitors can enjoy an old Florida nature experience.
  • Trailhead to Eastern Ranchlands, including Carlton Reserve.

Campsites can be reserved up to one year in advance by calling 941-861-7275.


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