The “Myakka Island” is a 110,000-acre assemblage of conserved lands surrounding and buffer the Myakka River. While conservation efforts began almost 100 years ago, the addition of the Walton Ranch in 2010 provided critical protections to one of the largest remaining blocks of land in Sarasota County. Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast assisted Sarasota County in the negotiations to purchase the land as well as secure funding from the state and Southwest Florida Water Management District to leverage County funding. Visitor amenities and trails opened to the public in 2015.
The preserve is an important connection between other conserved lands along the Myakka River that form a significant block of natural lands, providing habitat for large-range species such as the Florida Panther and Black Bear. The preserve also has the potential to serve as a regional “trail hub” for a conservation corridor that extends from the Myakka River to the Peace River.
The preserve is location at 7020 North Toledo Blade Blvd., North Port, FL, north of I-75 at the end of Toledo Blade Blvd.
For directions, hours, rules, and more information visit the Sarasota County website.