Two tandem kayaks with adult in back and child in front

Little Manatee River

The Little Manatee River is a beautiful winding river through the State Park.  This river is full of turtles basking in the sun and offers lots of wonderful shade trees.   

 

LIttle Manatee River

The Little Manatee River flows 51 miles (82 km), from east of Fort Lonesome, Florida South of Hwy 674 and Earl Reynolds Rd In Hillsborough County through southern Hillsborough County, Florida including towns such as Sun City, Florida, and Gulf City, Florida and northern Manatee County, Florida into Tampa Bay. It has a drainage basin of 222 square miles (570 km2). It flows along the Little Manatee River State Park for part of its route. Portions of the river Such as Hayes Bayou and Mills Bayou have been designated as an Outstanding Florida Water and are part of the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve. 

 

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the rare ecosystems found within the park, including sand pine and oak scrub and oxbow wetlands, which can be explored by hiking, canoeing, horseback riding or camping.  

The Little Manatee River flows for 4.5 miles, through eleven unique natural communities within the park.  The park boasts one of the premier hiking trails of Southwest Florida, a 6.5 mile stacked loop located in the wilderness area in north half of the park.  The Oxbow Nature Trail, accessible from the main picnic area in the south half of the park, makes a one mile loop along scrub ridges that skirt the main river and an oxbow wetland.  In addition, over 15 miles of equestrian and multi-use trails meander through the southern half of the park.  

Come picnic in one of the riverside pavilions or stay for the night in the full facility campground.  Little Manatee River State Park is one of the best kept secrets of Hillsborough County with a little something for everyone. 

 

Reference: 

https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/little-manatee-river-state-park  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Manatee_River  

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