Manatee County's Camping and Hiking Gem
When you visit South Florida's Sun Coast you probably want beach time. But in the same county with some of Florida's best beaches you'll also find Lake Manatee State Park. So if you're looking for camping, fishing, and hiking some uncrowded spaces while you are on the Gulf Coast of Florida this state park is the place for you.
Lake Manatee was created in the 1960's when a dam was built across the Manatee River. The state park lies on the south shore of the lake, just off Highway 64 on the east side of Manatee County. From the state park you can exit, turn west, head through the City of Bradenton, and land right on the county's award winning beaches.
Lake Manatee gives you an opportunity for fresh water fishing from the fishing docks or from your boat. A boat ramp is available. Boats must have motors less than 20 horsepower to operate on this lake.
The facilities at Lake Manatee State Park include:
- Boat ramp
- Fishing docks
- Restroom facilities
- Swimming beach
- Picnic area
- Hiking trails
- Dumping station for trailers and recreational vehicles
- Canoe and kayak launch (rentals available)
- Shower facilities
- Bicycling (rentals available).
To check the latest news and get detailed information go to Lake Manatee State Park's website.
This state park is a good example of Florida's natural habitat - pine flat woods, sand pine scrub, and hardwood forest. You will probably spot wildlife like the gopher tortoise, an endangered species. You'll also probably see wildflowers like the Florida golden aster.
You can get a map of the park at the entrance (entrance fee for us was $5 for the vehicle). If you are a hiker there are 5 separate short trails for you to walk.
- Gopher Trail (this short trail is located about half a mile east of the main park on State Road 64)
- Nowhere Road
- Pine Tree Boulevard
- Alligator Alley
- Persimmon Trail
As of right now camping fees are $22 per night or $11 per night for Florida seniors or disabled persons. You must pay tax on these amounts. To reserve a campground spot contact 1-800-326-3521 or go to reserveamerica.com.
Lake Manatee State Park and beach time vacations
Manatee County is a great place to combine beach vacation time with pristine, quiet camping away from the beach. We can help you book a beach condo or home right on the beach, and you can mix it up with a visit to Lake Manatee State Park before or after. If you want to camp the park has 60 campsites equipped with water and electric hookups, making it perfect for tents, trailers and RVs. In addition, each campsite has a grill, fire ring and table. The campground also has restroom and shower facilities.
If you're a day visitor the park offers a large picnic area, restroom facilities, walking trails, swimming, fishing, and kayak, canoe, and bicycle rentals.
Lake Manatee is a 2400 acre freshwater lake where you can catch largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. And there's nothing wrong with bringing a chair to sit by the water, watch the anglers, and read a good book.
Please use the contact us form and we'll be happy to help you plan a fun and relaxing Manatee County vacation.