Florida Guide > State Parks
LAKE MANATEE RIVER
Lake Manatee River State Park is situated on Lightfoot Road, off the U. S. 301 and 4 miles south west of Sun City Center. This has been a State Park since 1987, the land having been acquired by the Parks Department in 1974.
Since that time, extra land has been added to the park and the total acreage now stands at 2. 400 acres of natural Florida scenery.
The Manatee River origintaes in swamp in south east Hillsborough County and ends in Tampa Bay which is 40 miles away. This river has the honour of being named an Outstanding Florida Water way.
Five miles of this river is contained within the park. This is an unusually narrow river by Floridian standards and has very tall banks. This makes the light source in the river low so there is less vegetation than you would find in other rivers. The waters are the colour of tea and the bed of the river is sandy.
A great way to see the river is by canoe or kayak. At the time of writing, this park were not hiring out either of these, but check with the park before your visit to establish what the current policy is. You are not allowed to swim in the river.
The nature trail has been described as one of the best in Florida. This takes you through pine flat lands and hard wood hammock at the northern wilderness part of the park. You must inform a member of staff at the ranger station that you intend hiking the trail before you go.
The trail has good opportunities for bird spotting so do take some binoculars with you.
The picnic area is along the banks of the river so a very pleasant place to eat your sandwiches. The nearest shop is 5 miles away so it is important that you take all you need with you.
Among the wild life to look out for are armadillos, bob cat, foxes and racoons. The river contains alligators (of course) and river otters.
Naturally, their are great fishing opportunities in this river and you can catch cat fish, bream and our old friend, the bass.
The park is open from 8. a. m. to dusk every day of the year. The admission is $4 for a car and up to 8 people.
Little Manatee River State Park
215 Lightfoot Road
Wimauma, Florida 33598
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