LAKE MANATEE STATE PARK
This park extends along three miles of the south shore of Lake Manatee, which serves as a water reservoir for Manatee and Sarasota counties. The rest of the park is primarily pine flatwoods and sand pine scrub with some depression marshes and hardwood forests. A boat ramp provides easy access to the lake; boat motors must be less than 20 horsepower. Canoeing and kayaking are also popular activities. The lake offers excellent freshwater fishing, and anglers can fish from their boats or from the park's fishing dock. Swimming is permitted in a designated area of Lake Manatee; a facility with showers is located nearby. A large picnic area is nestled in a sand pine scrub area near the lake. A picnic pavilion may be reserved for a fee. Campers can enjoy full-facility camping, just a short walk from the lake. Located 15 miles east of Bradenton on State Road 64.
The natural beauty of Lake Manatee State Park brings in several different species of wildlife. Some of the viewings have been bobcat, deer, quail, and gopher tortoises. See our birding list for a record of possible sightings.
Located in Manatee County, Florida, the park was established in 1974. It spans over 556 acres around a reservoir created by damming of the Manatee River for drinking water purposes.
The area is known for its diverse wildlife and recreational activities such as fishing, boating and camping. In addition to these attractions, it also offers picnic areas with grills and pavilions available on rent.
Over time it has become an important habitat for various species including alligators, turtles and numerous bird types.
In recent years efforts have been made towards conservation through controlled burns aimed at maintaining natural habitats within this region.
Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at all park ranger stations and museums. If you require immediate use of your pass, this is the best option. Passes can be purchased during regular business hours 365 days a year. Please call the park in advance to ensure availability. Those who are eligible for discounted or free passes may use this method to receive their pass. Annual Entrance Passes may be purchased online by visiting the FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNUALENTRANCE PASSES
A 60-site camping area located within walking distance from the swimming and fishing areas. Water and electric is available on every site. A dump station is located at the entrance of the campground.
Swimming is available in the designated area in Lake Manatee with a bathhouse and shower facility located close by.
A boat ramp and fishing dock are available for visitors to use.
A Manatee County ordinance restricts boat motors to 20 horsepower or less. The ordinance also prohibits water-skiing.
Bring your own canoe or kayak and travel the shores of our 2,400 acres Lake Manatee. Scenic Lake Manatee serves as a wonderful wildlife viewing area which is easy to tour by canoe or kayak.
Lake Manatee offers excellent fishing. A variety of species are frequently caught, such as largemouth and sunshine bass, speckled perch, bluegill, shellcracker and catfish. A Florida freshwater fishing license is required for all persons over 16 years of age.
Lake Manatee State Park is located near Bradenton, Ellenton and Palmetto
There are two shower facilities, with hot water, located in the campground. A rinse station is located at the restroom near the swimming area.
Swing set, teeter totters, slides, and climbing gym. Also available are horseshoe pits and a sand volleyball court. Visitors may bring their own equipment or rent our horseshoes and volleyballs for a nominal fee.
Picnic tables and grills nestled in a mesic flatwood habitat just a short walk from the lake. A pavilion is also available and may be reserved. Seating capacity for up to 75 people.
There are several trails located throughout the park. Stop by our ranger station to obtain the maps of our in-park trails or our multi-use Gopher Trail.
Bicycling enthusiasts can enjoy a 2.5-mile paved road within the park, ideal for leisurely rides or exercise.
However, be aware that this trail is shared with vehicles and pedestrians; caution must always be exercised.
For those seeking off-road adventures, there are also unpaved trails available to explore on bike.
Remember though: these paths may have uneven terrain and obstacles - they're not recommended for inexperienced riders.
Always wear your helmet when biking in the area as safety should never take a back seat during such activities.
Keep an eye out too! Wildlife sightings are common so stay alert while enjoying your ride through nature's beauty.
Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting various species such as herons, egrets, and hawks in the park's diverse habitats. The three-mile nature trail offers ample birding opportunities along with a scenic view of wildlife. Visitors may also encounter migratory birds during certain seasons.
Pets must be confined, leashed (not to exceed six feet in length) or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times. Tethered pets must not be left unattended for more than 30 minutes. Quiet hours must be observed from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Pet owners must pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet droppings in trash receptacles. Pets are not permitted in park buildings, swimming, or fishing areas. Florida law requires that pets be vaccinated against rabies. Any pet that is noisy, dangerous, intimidating or destructive will not be allowed to remain in the park. Non-furbearing pets, such as reptiles, birds, or fish must be confined or under the physical control of the owner.
Take exit 220 off of I-75. Lake Manatee State Park is located 9 miles east of I-75 on State Road 64 in Bradenton, Florida.