An Active Lifestyle on Florida’s Gulf Coast

Walk, run, bike, skip, or roller-skate your way through Southwest Florida’s network of surrounding parks and trails — getting up and active never felt this good.

Blue Heron Park & Bark Park

Spend some time outdoors without ever leaving Wellen Park’s boundaries. Blue Heron Park is dog-friendly and offers a Bark Park portion that includes doggie drinking fountains and agility stations. The park has walking trails, shade structures and plenty of space to relax, or recreate, without leaving the neighborhood.

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Myakka State Forest

Adventures await with over 40 miles of trails that are open to hiking, trail biking and equestrian activities, including horse trails. The Myakka River passes through the forest, and hiking trails provide access to riverfront camping, fishing, boating, canoeing, and kayaking.

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Senator Bob Johnson’s Landing

Located in Venice, this park offers wildlife viewing areas that bird watchers will particularly love. Both paved and unpaved trails are part of the property that also includes a boat and kayak launch. Visitors in kayaks will be able to paddle downstream to the Myakka River Rookery. Frogs, snakes, alligators, and turtles are other species that kayakers and hikers could expect to see at this county-run park.

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The Legacy Trail

Take advantage of paved walkways on The Legacy Trail — a trail system connecting communities across Sarasota County and into neighboring Charlotte County. Amenities of the trail include free parking, rest station areas at approximately every mile and several trail heads.

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Boundless Adventures Playground

For a playground experience that steps outside the box, make the short drive to Boundless Adventures Playground in North Port. The playground features equipment that is accessible to children of all abilities, with a paved nature trail planned for the near future.

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Garden of the Five Senses

The four-acre park is designed to tap all the senses through nature. The park is landscaped along a paved walking trail and includes plenty of open green space, too. Shelters and benches are located throughout the park to allow rest and shade when needed.

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Marina Park

For those who love water recreation, Marina Park offers access. It connects boaters in North Port to the Myakka River, by way of the Myakkahatchee Creek. The park has a boat ramp, ADA accessible docks, boat trailer parking and kayak/canoe launches. The park is located along North Port’s Blueway Aquatic Trail.

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Centennial Park

With a pedestrian walkway, an interactive foundation and plenty of places to sit and relax, Centennial Park in Venice is always worth the short drive from Wellen Park. There are picnic tables, an ADA accessible gazebo and a Memorial to Veterans, too.

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Wellfield Park

This athletic complex off Pinebrook Road is the site of the city’s first drinking water wells and has been called Wellfield ever since. It includes three football fields, three soccer fields, two softball fields, three baseball fields, batting cages, disk golf, a croquet club field, and restrooms. Adjacent Pinebrook Park has two lighted tennis courts, a basketball court and fitness/nature trial.

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Chuck Reiter Park

For those looking for an active way to spend time with children and grandchildren, Chuck Reiter Park in Venice has a lot of options. A large playground with shaded area is open to the public, and there are batting cages and a concession stand for a fee.

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Hecksher Park

A one-stop spot for recreation for all ages, Hecksher Park has basketball courts, tennis courts, racquetball and handball courts, shuffleboard courts, a playground and a tot lot. There is even lighting for night play so visitors can plan their activities when the Florida sun isn’t quite so hot.

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Legacy Park

This family-friendly spot is located near the historic Venice Train Depot and has a train-themed playground. The multi-use Legacy Trail has an access point at the park, and there is also a kayak/canoe launch, picnic shelter and other areas available for rental.

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Find Your Way


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