Lake Manatee State Park extends along three miles of the south shore of Lake Manatee, our namesake, which serves as a water reservoir for Manatee and Sarasota counties. Despite the name of the lake and park, visitors cannot actually see manatees at this park because of the dam on the Manatee River. The rest of the park is primarily pine flatwoods and sand pine scrub with some depression marshes and hardwood forests. A boat ramp provides easy access to the lake; boat motors must be less than 20 horsepower. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities. The lake offers excellent freshwater fishing, and anglers can fish from their boats or from the park's fishing dock. Swimming is permitted in a designated area of Lake Manatee; a facility with showers is located nearby. A large picnic area is nestled in a sand pine scrub area near the lake. A picnic pavilion may be reserved for a fee. Campers can enjoy full-facility camping, just a short walk from the lake. Located 15 miles east of Bradenton on State Road 64.

hiking
7 months ago

pretty trail but very sandy I need better shoes for hiking on soft sand. heard the dragsters. saw a black racer in the middle of its shed. great views of lake manatee but not able to get up to the shore

on Gopher Trail - Loop

hiking
8 months ago

Very well kept trail. Saw plenty of birds and one tortoise. Plenty of shaded stops to stop and drink water.
The only downside is it being so close to the drag strip. I came on a Saturday afternoon and the noise took away quite a bit of the "nature" atmosphere.

walked the loop, saw 2 tortoises.

hiking
1 year ago

A lot of Gopher Tortoises, and Black Eraser Snakes. Some great views of Lake Manatee