Myakka River State Park is one of the oldest, biggest, and best state parks in Florida, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the state's southwest. Located less than 20 miles southeast of Sarasota, the park encompasses 58 square miles encompassing the beautiful Myakka River.
Spend a few days in Myakka River State Park and you can explore pristine wetlands and prairies, kayak and fish in the river's clear waters, hike mile after mile of trails through the wilderness, and enjoy the serenity that only a camping vacation can provide.
If you want to explore Myakka River State Park in a motorhome, search for an RV in Manatee County, book a site in one of the park's three campgrounds, and read on to find out how to plan the perfect camping getaway.
The Myakka River is the main attraction, so no visit to this wonderful state park would be complete without getting out on the water. Some 14 miles of this 66-mile river flow through the park, and the best way to experience it is under your own steam. A canoe/kayak launch is found one mile into the park past the S.R. 72 entrance, and paddling is a great way to explore the surrounding wetlands, pinelands, hammocks, and more.
Paddling is also permitted on the scenic waters of Upper Myakka Lake, while a boat ramp is provided near the park's concession area. If you want to wet a line, the park's waters are home to bluegill, panfish, and many other species. Just make sure you have a Florida Freswhater Fishing License before you try to catch a big one.
When you've had your fill of water-based activities, lace on your hiking boots and get ready to do some exploring on foot. The 39-mile Myakka Trail loops its way around the park, but backcountry roads cross the trail at various points and allow you to shorten its length to suit your level of fitness.
Hikers can wander through palm hammocks, dry prairies, and a diverse array of natural scenery, plus you might also catch a glimpse of a bobcat, an alligator, and any number of bird species. Just make sure you know where you're going and have plenty of water, and remember that hiking in summer can be particularly hot and dangerous.
Camping at Myakka River State Park
If you want to camp with an RV in Myakka River State Park, there are three campgrounds and a total of 90 campsites to choose from. Though there are a small handful of tent-only sites, most can accommodate RVs. The campgrounds are:
- Old Prairie. Accessed via the S.R. 72 park entrance and located near the Myakka River, the Old Prairie Campground offers dirt-based sites with easy access to restrooms and hot showers. Laundry facilities are available and a dump station is nearby, while all sites feature 50-amp electricity service, water, a fire ring, and a picnic table.
- Big Flats. Big Flats Campground sits near the Upper Myakka Lake and is a popular spot for anyone who loves fishing. Sites here have 50-amp electricity service, water, a fire ring, and a picnic table, while wi-fi is also provided. All sites are dirt-based and provide easy access to restrooms and hot showers.
- Palmetto Ridge. Palmetto Ridge Campground can be reached via the S.R. 72 park entrance and offers full hookup sites. Laundry facilities are also available, and most sites are gravel-based (except for four paved sites which are designed to be accessible to people with disabilities).
Leashed, well-behaved pets are welcome at all campsites.
Exploring the Area
When you're ready to bid farewell to Myakka River State Park, why not steer your rental RV to some of the region's other must-visit locations?
You're spoiled for choice in terms of natural scenery and attractions in this part of Florida, with destinations like Warm Mineral Springs Park, Stump Pass Beach State Park, and Oscar Scherer State Park all just a short drive away. The thick forests and rare wildlife of Highlands Hammock State Park is also a little over an hour to the northeast.
And if you'd prefer to head for the creature comforts of civlization, the Gulf Coast city of Sarasota and nearby Bradenton are both within easy reach.
If you're ready to explore this beautiful corner of southwestern Florida, book an RV near Myakka River State Park and start planning an outdoor adventure you'll never forget.
Myakka River State Park, FL is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Myakka River State Park. Outdoorsy's Myakka River State Park RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.