The Myakka River is the only river in Florida designated by state legislature as a "Wild and Scenic River." This designation recognizes its extraordinary beauty and undeveloped character.
From the river’s beginnings in Manatee County, it collects through many tributaries over a wide area before coalescing near Sarasota County, where it opens into the 955-acre Upper Myakka Lake, in Myakka River State Park. The river flows southward through the State Park, opens once more into the 587-acre Lower Myakka Lake, and afterwards is relatively narrow until the area around River Road in South Venice. Here, the river widens considerably, to greater than a half mile wide at El Jobean.
These three areas – upper river, middle river, and lower river – while interconnected and sharing many features, are also wonderfully surprising in their differences. Visitors to each area will enjoy three different experiences.