Deer Prairie Creek Preserve consists of over 6400 acres of wetlands, prairie hammock, and pine flatwoods wholly protecting all of Deer Prairie Creeks’ path through Sarasota county. Lying along East side of the Myakka River, it embraces approximately 6 miles of pristine wild & scenic designated waterfront. Over 70 miles of various trails ranging from moderate to primitive condition are available for users to hike, bike, or ride horseback.
Equestrian trails are specifically marked, with two large looping routes marked on their separate map. Several of the trails require water crossing at ditches or small creek areas, and some will flood entirely in the summer rainy seasons. All trails are unpaved with occasional areas of improved compressed gravel type toppings. There is quite a long stretch of improved trails directly along the banks of the Myakka River offering stunning views with easy access. Interior trails are well labeled with numerical markers. A very nice feature indeed as some of the trails tend to be quite long. Make sure to bring your water, sunscreen and anything else you may need for an extended hike!
Campers at CampVenice Retreat can access parts of the preserve by water directly across from the nature trails of the camping facility. Canoe rentals there enable easy access to some trail areas of the preserve.
Deer Prairie Creek Preserve hours are seasonally adjusted ‘dawn to dusk’ arrangement so you’ll have access from 7:30am to 6:00pm in the winter months(Nov – Mar), and 7:30am to 8pm in the summer months (Apr – Oct). There are both North and South accesses, but some limitations apply.
Horse/Equestrian parking access and trails are only from the North entrance.
7001 Forbes Trail, Venice FL 34292
Water access for canoe/kayak launching and parking areas are available only from the South Entrance. 10201 S Tamiami Trail, Venice 34292
The Deer Prairie Creek Preserve offers:
- Parking Areas
- Covered Picnic Areas
- Hiking, Biking, Equestrian Trails
- Horse trailer Parking (North)
- Horse Watering Troughs (North)
- Canoe/Kayak Launching (South)
- Canoe/Kayak Trailer Parking (South)