If you need a break from the beach, head up to the Sarasota area (about a 2-hour drive from Ocean’s Reach) and check out the amazing Myakka River State Park.
At 58 square miles, this is one of Florida’s oldest and largest parks. The Myakka River flows through a vast expanse of unspoiled wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands that make up the family-friendly park. In addition to showcasing a unique side of Florida’s fauna and flora, boating, fishing, canoeing and kayaking are popular activities, as are hiking and bicycling.
But many say that it’s the park’s canopy walk that really makes the experience.
The Myakka Canopy Walkway provides easy access to observe life in the treetops. As an outdoor laboratory for research and education, it is a place for discovery and provides an opportunity for visitors to see canopy inhabitants up close. The canopy walk has signs that will tell you what you’ll see along the way, between the towering trees and the ribbon of the river twisting through.
Completed in 2000, this structure is the first public treetop trail in North America, modeled after ones used in South American rainforests.
The walkway is suspended 25 feet above the ground and extends 100 feet through the hammock canopy. The observation tower soars 74 feet in the air to present a spectacular view of treetops and wetlands. You can look down on eagles, hawks, vultures, and the tops of Live Oak and Sabal Palm trees.
Talk about sweeping views! The Canopy Walkway is a wonderful experience for adults and children alike. There is no additional cost (beyond regular park entrance fees). For more information, click here.