Explore the most popular trails near Bradenton with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


nature trips


kid friendly

Bradenton, Florida Map

The Osprey Loop from the Valentine House parking lot, including 1/2 mile of the Tern Trail and the tower, is a 4.1-mile loop. Lots of interesting plants, views of the Manatee River and Tampa Bay, horseshoe crabs, dolphins, and white pelicans. The Tern Trail is not open to bicycles, but other spur trails are. Highly recommend bringing a kayak or renting one from a local vendor and paddling the trail through the preserve.

An amazing spot with so many different routes you can truly explore the marshes of Florida and even get close to Tampa Bay waters as they allow you to sit on the coast.

Flat dog walking trail. I can't see why this would be rated moderate. some of it is in a parking lot. It's Florida so it can be hot and buggy. It's only 1 mile with an option to cut it in half to a half mile.

Have been twice now and it is great. Have been doing the entire loop and some off trails to total 6 miles. Great place to stay in shape. Going to try for 3 days./week

Visiting from Ohio. This is an awesome preserve. Lots of different activities available...didn’t get too far made it to the observation tower and then started to down pour... had a nice run in the rain back to the car. Would have liked to explore more... maybe another day.

Great hike with the family. Easy. Along the water with great views. We saw several dolphins playing just off the shore. Will be doing again.

Nice view of the water.. well maintained... great place to walk dogs.. good shaded areas and plenty of places to rest. Loved it

great park lots of history. most the trail goes along the water with great views and partly covered great place to walk and relax lots of places to sit and take in the views lots of birds and fush. was a great the kids loved it.

7 months ago

Easy hike on a gravel trail. Great if you want to see how old Florida scrub land once looked. Lakes and a board walk. Saw plenty of ibis and spoonbills. The upper loop is for walkers only.

easy hike, just way too many bugs

Details. It’s free. Park on left side of Manatee Ave. walk under bridge to access trail head. NO restrooms on trail at all. Port A Potty in parking area. First part of trail to Spoonbill has lots of shady areas. Open area to Bay not as much. Area along Bay is covered again, trail by Tower is open again as well As path to bring you back to loop that brings you down to Manatee Ave again. 60%bikers (cement paved trails) & 40%hikers day I went. Opportunity to sit down about every mile..covered benches. There is another entrance off 57(75th) forgot exactly. You might get bugs initially upon trail depending on season so good to bring spray jik. Lots of photo ops as everyone mentions. Off shoots are crushed shell, not paved. Kayakers & paddle boarders all over canals & they have landing pad to access Tower.

I gotta say: this was a nice hike. When I went it was cold and rainy and pretty much the worst weather other than a full on storm, but it was a very easy hike and it was cool to see horseshoe crabs, fish, and large snails around the coastline. Definitely bring snacks and plenty of water because it’s certainly a long one.

Nice breeze during the summer, lots of shade and pretty river views, great to stop and wade in the river when it gets too hot. Very dog friendly.

Desoto is a great hiking spot, which also has a guided history lesson. The hiking path is both shell and boardwalk and is mostly shaded with mangroves and other trees. It usually is not too crowded unless they have a special event going on. Desoto is dog-friendly and also has places to swim and fish.

11 months ago

fun park to take a short hike with the dogs. wish there were a few more trash cans.

Beautiful walk with lots of birds. very easy to follow and well marked. also nice lookout tower.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

3rd visit, each time different flowers where blooming. Has a ADA (door big enough for a wheelchair and hand rails) port-a-john. Parking for 15-ish cars. Bike friendly on lower loop and right (east) side of upper loop. NO bike riding on the top and left (west) side of upper loop. Long walk between end points, walk your bike.

NO DOGS!!!!! Left side of lower loop has a duck blind to watch wildlife and is in older "woods".

No straight boardwalks, all are curved like trails!! :-)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

First trail I've been to that has a bike repair station!!! Did the north loop including the Tern trail, be aware the Tern trail is listed on map as .48 and is .70 one way. A small bit but it's a primitive trail, not highly used.

WELL BUILT tower for preserve/bay views. Main trails are well maintained for bikes and strollers (NOT ADA) but wheelchairs can use the blacktop trails. Many benches on the trails with GOOD views.

There is a trailhead (south end) at Manatee Ave with a nice boardwalk to Perico Bayou.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Nice easy boardwalk trail with interpretive signs along the way. Great viewing tower. Historical Indian mounds.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Did the Osprey w/Tern primitive trail with a bit of the Spoonbill Trail to get back to the car. The tower is the BEST I have ever seen and used! The bridges are not just part of the trails, they are trails in themselves. They are not straight! Curved like the trails!!! Photo ops are everywhere. Salt flats, tower, bridges, bay views, flowers, palm trees and >> Roseate Spoonbills!!!!!!!!!

Planning to do the rest of Spoonbill trail to Manatee Ave soon!!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Easy trail, so easy, as I had forgot my hiking shoes. Wore my croc's!!!! You will be on the beach in parts of the trail, kicked croc's off and got sand between the toes.

Close to visitor center use your phone to hear interactive info per display.

DOG friendly

Beautiful place to walk your dog, lots of wonderful things to see and learn about this historical place. Beaches are pretty with clean rest areas. Picnic tables and park benches to take a break as well. Totally recommended for anyone wanting to see some of Floridas history & beauty.

Monday, July 03, 2017

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.

Nice easy, scenic trail. Highly recommend! :-)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What a great preserve to see nature. Main trail is paved and off shoots are sandy. Great for biking, walking or running. Kayaking is offered as well.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Beautiful scenery!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

So much variety of birds and ecology

Friday, March 10, 2017

Love the tower and ocean views.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

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.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

I really enjoyed this park .It has a mostly shell trail .It also has Towers to climb, beaches and boardwalks.I had a terrific hike here.

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