Sarasota, FL89
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Florida, The Original

myakka river state park fl

Myakka River State Park FL

There seems to be this recurring image of Florida as a revolving door of beaches and theme parks. In an effort to put an end to these rumors, Myakka River State Park is helping locals and tourists discover an entire ecosystem that is reminiscent of Florida from the past.

Myakka River State Park is a whopping 58 square miles of wetlands, hammocks, pinelands and prairies, making it one of the largest and oldest state parks. There is no better place to go for a hike, see wildlife up close and even stay overnight in a log cabin.

And yes, there are plenty of wild alligators to be seen, so be mindful!

One way to travel around Myakka River State Park is by boat — more specifically, an airboat. But this isn’t any typical airboat that you might find around Florida. Nick, one of the managers and a tram operator in Myakka River State Park, talked about the boat.

“It’s actually the world’s largest passenger airboat,” he says. “It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records and everything.”

We asked Nick about the primary focus of the airboat tours.

“It’s mostly to teach people about the lake, ecology and general info on the alligators in the area,” he says. “Each captain has his or her own style of narrating.”

Nick is confident that, if you go on the airboat, you’ll probably see a gator.

“It’s never a guarantee,” he says. “But there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll see a gator. The captains always know the best spots.”

If you prefer a bird’s eye view, Nick had a suggestion.

“I always tell people to go over to our Canopy Walkway,” he says. “It’s up near the tops of the trees and it’s definitely the best view of the park.”

Experience the untouched side of Florida at Myakka River State Park.

Myakka River State Park is located at 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL. For more information, visit the Myakka River State Park website or call (941) 361-6511.