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
3 months ago

There are multiple trails, we did 4.5 miles in total. They are building a new trail that connects the two sides, not finished but we hiked it to get to the other side on foot. Nice views of the lake. Trails were somewhat overgrown in many areas. Long stretch along 64 so very noisy with traffic. Saw two decent size turtles fighting on the trail.

Lots of sand, so wear the right shoes for that. Most of it is under the sun, so prep for that too. Overall, a short and easy walk, but very beautiful. Only real negative is that the traffic is noisy in areas where the trail gets close to the road.

hiking
9 months ago

The updated "Homepage" Link is: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Lake-Manatee

hiking
Saturday, April 09, 2016

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
Sunday, March 06, 2016

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.

hiking
Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sunday, December 06, 2015

walked the loop, saw 2 tortoises.

hiking
Sunday, August 02, 2015

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