Sarasota County offers miles of trails and thousands of acres to explore in our natural area parks and preserves. Walks often focus on a blooming wildflower, rare or endangered animals, different habitats or historical and cultural features. This provides an in-depth experience for participants to learn the natural history or the human history of prehistoric Indians or settlers during a walk. There are easy strolls on paved trails and longer hikes on winding footpaths through pristine woodlands. Our featured walks, led by local experts and Park Naturalists, provide the opportunity to explore the beautiful natural world around us.
Types of walks
- Butterflies/ Dragonflies
What to bring on a Nature Walk
Participants on County nature walks should wear suitable clothes and shoes for walking, plan for sun protection (hats, sunglasses, sun screen), and should have water with them. Most walks are less than two miles in distance and are 1 ½-2 hours in duration. Walks may be on paved or natural unpaved surfaces. Cameras and/or binoculars are encouraged!
- Approximately 200 nature walks are provided annually by County staff and volunteers to County residents free of charge.
- Nature walks even happen at night - to view the Full Moon or Meteor Shower events!
- Some walks focus on healthy activities or hobbies, like nature photography, meditation, geocaching or physical fitness.
Popular Nature Walk sites
- Celery Fields
- Carlton Reserve (T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve)
- Curry Creek Preserve
- Deer Prairie Creek Preserve
- Jelks Preserve
- Lemon Bay Park and Environmental Center
- Manasota Scrub Preserve
- Myakka Islands Point
- Old Miakka Preserve
- Pinecraft Park
- Pinelands Reserve
- Pocono Trails Preserve
- Red Bug Slough Preserve
- Rothenbach Park
- Scherer Thaxton Preserve
- Shamrock Park and Nature Center
- Sleeping Turtles Preserve North and South
- South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve
- Urfer Family Park
- Walton Ranch
- Woodmere Park