The Little Manatee River begins in a swampy area near Fort Lonesome and flows almost 40 miles before emptying into Tampa Bay. The river has been designated an Outstanding Florida Water and is part of the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve. Visitors can fish along the banks of the river. Wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy hiking a six-and-a-half mile trail through the park's northern wilderness area. For those who prefer their hikes on horseback, the park has 12 miles of equestrian trails and four equestrian campsites. Campers can spend the night in a full-facility campground or hike out to a primitive campsite along the trail. A youth/group campground accommodates up to 20 people. The scenic picnic area along the river has tables, grills, and pavilions. Pavilions can be reserved for a fee. Unreserved pavilions are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Located five miles south of Sun City, off U.S. 301 on Lightfoot Road.

1 month ago

Great trail

nature trips
1 month ago

Short loop, about 15 min walk. Well shaded with views of the river. Best oxbow view is from the pavilion.

This the first half of the trail with ours Cub Scout group. Great trail to hike.

Holy shit very hard. The whole thing was under water. The bridges weren’t visible since they were under water. You need excellent tracking skills. One section took 34 minute for one mile since we were swimming. LOTS of mosquitoes. Lots of spiders. Trail was wild for most of it. Might have been months since it was walked thru to completion last. Not for the old, young, pregnant, short out of shape or people with time constraints. Good luck! If your foolish enough to do this....

Great trail. Lots of wildlife. Definitely wear long pants and long sleeves, as the southwestern portion of the trail can be totally consumed with 4+ foot grasses and other vegetation. Lots of mosquitoes in the boggy sections, so keep moving through those parts. Opportunities to collect drinking river all along the river if you have a purifier.

4 months ago

Nice trail and it offers some views of the river. It’s rather short, but well marked.

5 months ago

Did this while doing a larger trail and it was nice. Didn’t see anyone on this small trail and got to watch kayakers go by in the water. Has some old nature signs so kind of interesting to read.

Not muddy right now. (3/24/18). 1/2 trail is shaded, 1/2 trail is open to more sun. Boardwalks May have missing planks. Chicken wire added to grip for slippery areas is nice. Two fallen trees to go around. $5 per car fee. Cash into envelope put sticker in car window before hiking. Variety of scenery-woods, river, scrub etc.

7 months ago

A easy stroll throught sand pine scrub, hammock and a couple short side trails to Little Manatee River.

Just a short .21 mile to trail head from River Steps parking lot.

Beautiful an enjoyable hike! Not very difficult. Saw snakes, armadillos and heard wild hogs! Beautiful Park!

Great hike

Fun little hike

Great for a short hike. Be wary of wildlife, saw a Pygmy rattlesnake there today.

Did the FULL 6+ mile trail, no water on/over trail. Did trail as a figure "8", left at first post. NICE trail by FTA!!! Ecosystems >> sand pine, oak scrub and oxbow wetlands

Photogging. Walked total 12 miles today from 10:58AM to 3:00 PM. Left some of my knee blood and skin there through one of the trails I took. Overall awesome. Just need to mend before my next photogging event.

Monday, October 09, 2017

The trail off of 301 just north of the river is beautiful, lots of scenery and some ascents and desents that lead you by the river and ravine. Some of the trail is flooded due to storms.
The smaller trails by the park are nice for short walks. There are plenty of deer to watch.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Took the kids and dog and they only complained once

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hiked the 6.2 mile loop. Nice little hike. Stopped to check out the only primitive camp site available. It's a nice open space with picnic table, fire ring, and benches. Plenty of area to explore around site gives you that secluded feeling. Only ding is no water available.

Part of trail hugs the river where many people were conoeing/kayaking and you could actually walk down to water from trail.

Hike is not difficult by any means and provides a cross trail if you don't want to do the whole loop. Noticed small signs of pigs rooting around and came across deer on trails. Also saw gators in river as I passed by.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Such a pretty trail, except for someone's nasty baby diaper, which I did bring out. Shame on those that go out enjoy a trail such as this and leave trash for the rest of us to enjoy. Other than this trail is gorgeous.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Great wilderness trail providing awesome shade throughout your hike. Trail was very well maintained and preserved which allowed for easy seeing of hawks and ospreys. Great trail for any first time hikers who have an itch for adventure!

Monday, February 06, 2017

Good time

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Enjoyed it

Easy and beautiful. Access to nice primitively sites

My 14 year old son and I really enjoyed this trail. We completed a scenic 6.2 mile loop. Most of the trail was wooded with plenty of shade. Roughly 2 miles along the river. Lots of bugs. Did not see other wildlife but we did go at the hottest time of the day. Evidence of wild hogs throughout the hike.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Overall ok IMO. We have a young Rhodesian Ridgeback so we love to hike Florida parks.

Pluses .. saw a black racer snake and a good sized deer darted right across the trail. Good thing dog was on the leash. Trail easy and well marked although the big loop that would have increased the walk from 2.5 mi to over 6 mi was closed off. The wife was elsewhere this am so just as well

Minuses .. Buggy of course. Bug spray definitely helped. Scenery not super interesting compared to other nearby trails. Also they as for s $5 fee which I happily paid, I assume this goes to maintaining the trail (lots of bridges and plank pathways over water and mud). Other area trails are free other than Myakka State park which happens to be awesome.

I prefer Rye Preserve which doesn't seem to be on All Trails.

Good to have a variety though. Also love Emerson Point and Robinson's Preserve.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

This was a great hiking area. We did the hike north of the river.(6.5 miles) I would say majority of it was under the canopy. Lots of changes in scenery which kept it very interesting. Clean narrow trails, some holes from hogs. There were areas that were somewhat flooded, but you could usually walk around it. On the river route the bugs were really bad, we forgot bug spray. We didn't see any wildlife which was disappointing.

Monday, November 09, 2015

It was an easy trail to follow. My son and I enjoyed it and we will hike it again.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Good hike with a nice primitive camp around 2 miles in. The trail is clearly marked, and they have bridges over the overly muddy sections. The primitive camp site is fantastic, in a nice stand of sand pines with soft ground and several good spots for hammocks. The nearest water to the campsite is a stream crossing about a mile away though, so camel up or carry a bit extra. Overall a short, but good time.

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