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4 Great Venice Parks & Wilderness Preserves You Can Escape to This Weekend

Posted by Wayne Welsh on Friday, May 22nd, 2020 at 6:49am.

venice fl parks & wilderness preserves

We all live busy, chaotic lives - which can feel overwhelming at the best of times.

The added stress brought on by the global pandemic has only compounded the problem. Now, more than ever it’s important to escape the hectic pace of our every day lives and find ways to unwind - to refresh our mind, our bodies and our spirits.

Luckily, the Venice area has plenty of escape to offer while allowing you to maintain your social distance.

Without further ado, here are 5 great Venice parks and wilderness preserves that you can escape to this weekend.

myakka river state park in venice, fl

Myakka River State Park

This preserve is escapism at its very core.

The Myakka River State Park is not only Florida’s oldest state park, it’s also its largest.

At 57 square miles, the parkland is an expansive wilderness escape that features several distinct and diverse habitats, from wetlands to prairies to woodlands. It’s a popular spot for hiking, biking, boating and fishing. The river and the lake as well as a large network of hiking trails provide plenty of ways to enjoy this outdoor sanctuary.

The Upper Myakka Lake is a particular popular hot spot for fishing enthusiasts.

Usually, Myakka River State Park is a popular spot for camping, with traditional camping spots as well as rent-able log cabins. Currently, the park is open for day use only until at least the end of May.

Even if it’s just for the day, it makes for an excellent escape!

venice area audobon rookery in venice, fl

Venice Area Audubon Rookery

Believe it or not, right in the heart of Venice is a thriving, natural bird sanctuary.

The Venice Area Audubon Rookery is an absolutely stunning natural bird habitat located on Annex Road, just off of US 41.

It’s internationally known and well-regarded by bird photographers of all stripes. The preserve is a small island with a pond - the small size means most birds are viewable without binoculars. Plus, the pond is guarded by alligators which protects the birds from many natural predators.

Inside the park you’ll see many examples of Florida's avian wildlife, including:

  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • White Ibus
  • Common Gallinule
  • Cattle Egret
  • Black-Crowned Night Heron
  • Many more

The rookery is open every day, dawn to dusk and visitors are welcome to visit throughout the year. Nesting season is November to May, making this it's busiest time. Although birds can be viewed virtually anytime, the best time for photographs tends to be early morning or late afternoon.

While you’re there, why not visit the Venice Audubon Center. You’ll be able to explore a number of fascinating exhibits as well as the butterfly gardens.

legacy trail in venice, fl

Legacy Trail

Are you a runner? A cyclist? A casual stroller?

First opened in March of 2008, the Legacy Trail is a beloved local trail. The 25-mile-long linear park stretches from Casperson Park all the way into Sarasota. The trail is completely paved and offers an outstanding place for runners, walkers, bikers and rollerbladers to get out and exercise in the warm, South Florida sunshine.

The trail is open from 6am to sunset. 7 trail heads along the length of the trail provide incredibly easy access from multiple angles. Plus, parking is free!

There aren't currently any restrictions for access, but public officials are urging visitors to maintain their distance and avoid groups larger than 10 people.

woodmere paw park in venice, fl

Woodmere Paw Park

We can’t forget about Fido.

Woodmere Paw Park is located within the larger Woodmere Park complex, just off Jacaranda Avenue. The 2.5 acre park is a wonderful spot for dogs of all sizes. The large fence surrounds the play area and features two, doubled-gated entrances - one for small dogs and another for larger breeds.

Picnic tables litter the play area and plenty of large, canopied trees provide ample shade for those warmer days.

Best of all, waste bags and water stations are both provided for your convenience. So get outside, and don't forget your canine companion.

Are you interested in learning more about beautiful Venice, Florida and the surrounding areas? Don't hesitate to contact Gulf Shores Realty online or call 941.488.6644 today!

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