The Myakka State Forest, 8,500 acres located in south western Sarasota County approximately 10 miles southeast of Venice and 7 miles west of Port Charlotte, within the city limits of North Port. Access is available off of River Road, about 11 miles south of I-75.
The forest was purchased in 1995 as part of the Myakka Estuary Conservation and Recreation Lands project using Preservation 2000 and Save Our Rivers funds. The governing Division of Forestry practices multiple-use in managing the forest resources which includes timber management, outdoor recreation, wildlife management, and both ecological and hydrological restoration.
Myakka State Forest consists primarily of mesic flatwoods with a mixture of longleaf pine and slash pine with a palmetto understory. Numerous depression marshes scatter throughout the flatwoods, providing opportunities for viewing wading birds and other wildlife. The forest features approximately 2.5 miles of frontage directly on the Myakka River which is designated as an Outstanding Florida Water and a Wild and Scenic River. The Myakkahatchee Creek flows throughout the forest for 1.5 miles providing additional water resource.
Recreational opportunities on Myakka State Forest include primitive camping*, hiking, off-road bicycling, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and small game hunting. * please note: * State Forest Use Authorization Permit is Required for Primitive Camping.
Streams on the forest provide fishing, boating, canoeing and kayaking. Myakka State Forest contains 2 hiking trails (North Loop and South Loop) that are included in the Florida Division of Forestry’s Trailwalker Hiking Program, as well as horse trails in the Trailtrotter Equestrian Program.
You may contact the Myakka State Forest directly at:
Division of Forestry – Myakka State Forest
2000 South River Road, Englewood, FL 34223