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.

backpacking
11 days ago

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.

walking
3 months ago

Took the kids and dog and they only complained once

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.

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.

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!