Picturesque Lake Manatee State Park is located in the sunny state of Florida, and home to its namesake, Lake Manatee. Located 15 miles east of Bradenton, off Highway 64, the park extends along the south shore of Lake Manatee. Making the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg easily accessible dhttps://www.outdoorsy.com/rv-rental/florida/nokomisuring your motorhome camping.
While the terrain of the park is made up of flatwoods, sand pine scrub, marshes, and hardwood forests and offers great recreational activities, the lake is the main attraction of this state park, and when you book an RV in Manatee County, the options to explore this park and its surrounding areas are endless.
The area was once used for farming, cattle grazing, and timbering. Today, the 2400-acre water reservoir that forms Lake Manatee is used for supplying water to Manatee County and Sarasota County. The lake is ideal for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.
Recreational opportunities are plenty, and camping at Lake Manatee State Park is the best way to explore the outdoor activities in the area. Known for its excellent freshwater fishing, the lake has plenty of largemouth and sunshine bass, speckled perch, bluegill, shellcracker, and catfish. A Florida fishing license is required for fishing in Lake Manatee. For boat fishing, a boat ramp and fishing dock are available but keep in mind that motorboats must be 20 horsepower or less.
Hikers can make use of four and a half miles of nature trails in the state park. The ranger station is equipped with maps of in-park trails, and it is advisable to grab a map before you start your hike. This is a remote park, so it’s always better to go with someone rather than alone and go equipped with essentials. You’ll see lots of wildlife on your hikes, but remember to only view wildlife from a distance and avoid getting too close for your own safety, and theirs. If you feel the hiking trails are too long, then opt for a bicycle tour of the park to cover it all with ease. There is a two and a half mile paved biking trail that winds through the Pine flatwoods and along the shore of the lake. For more adventurous cycling, try the off-road cycling trail that takes you through different terrains. Don’t forget to pack your helmets in your RV rental.
Kayaking and canoeing are popular on the lake, and a great way to view wildlife. The lake is relatively calm, making for a relaxing experience.
Camping at Lake Manatee State Park
It’s a good idea to park your RV rental at Lake Manatee State Park to enjoy easy access to the park’s recreational attractions. There is a 60-site campground very close to the beach and fishing areas. The sites are equipped with big rig access, water, and 30 AMP electric service, with a dump station at the entrance to the campground. Restrooms and showers are available, and cell phone coverage is decent. There’s a large play area for the kids to run around in. You can bring your four-legged friends along too, but remember to keep them on a leash at all times.
If you want to camp in an RV near Lake Manatee State Park, consider St. Petersburg Madeira KOA, with over 400 sites. There are pull-thru sites with full hookups, big rig access, a dump station, 30 and 50 AMP electric service, sewers, and water. There are cottages and cabins for rent. Amenities include restrooms, showers, laundry, a camp store, propane, firewood, group kitchen, and picnic shelter. There are lots of recreational activities available as well, including pool access, a playground for the kids, a pet area, and nature trails.
About 36 miles from the park in Nokomis is the Royal Coachman RV Resort, another option to consider for your rental motorhome at Lake Manatee State Park. This well-equipped park comes with pull-thru sites, full hookups, big rig access, water and electricity, sewers, public phone access, WiFi and cell phone coverage, restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. You can’t pitch tents here though, so keep that in mind.
Exploring the Area
A Manatee County camper will serve you well on your adventures through the state park and its surrounding areas. Once you’ve explored the park, make your way to the city of Bradenton. There is a lot to see and do in this city that boasts of old Florida history displayed in its architecture, parks, and nature reserves. If you enjoy art, make a trip to the Village of the Arts that features a very interesting collection of colorfully restored cottages dating back to the 1920’s and 1930’s. The bustling downtown is another area you wouldn’t want to miss. The Riverwalk offers scenic views and a stroll by is a must when in Bradenton.
For history buffs, a visit to the South Florida Museum takes you through the history of the city, county and the state of Florida. If you haven’t had enough of being in the outdoors, then Bradenton has no dearth of outdoor spaces. Robinson Preserve is an oasis of nature. You could also visit the Cortez Fishing Village, a thriving fishing community across the bay from Bradenton Beach. The Manatee Village Historical Park is a collection of historically important buildings dating back to the 1800’s when the county was founded.
To experience the laidback charm of this town, go ahead and indulge in a meal or two. From easy-going casual pubs to rustic coastal cuisine, you’ll be spoiled for choice here.
Lake Manatee State Park, FL is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
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