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Little Manatee River State Park

  4.3 ( 15 ) Favorite


7.2 mile 11.7 kilometer loop
100% Runnable


Ascent: 137' 42 m
Descent: -137' -42 m
High: 50' 15 m
Low: 1' 0 m


Avg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 7% (4°)


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This is still the best trail in the area. You never get tired of running it!

tom kamprath

Features Birding · River/Creek · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The trail is open from dawn to sunset daily.


This route goes through varied terrain from sandy uplands to wet lowlands. The trail is well maintained, and because it is a single path, you get the feeling of being close to nature.

Need to Know

There is a $5 day-use fee at the beginning of the trail. Portions of the trail can get muddy or wet during rainy weather.


The trail is well marked with white blazes. Connector and accessory trails have a blue blaze. There are several bridges that go over wet spots or creeks. The northern portion is mostly through pine and oak trees growing in dry, sandy soil. The western and southern part go through some lowlands and sandy bluffs along the river.

The south leg of the trail goes along the north bank of the Little Manatee River for stretches. The western portion of the south leg gets swampy and can be underwater during rainy times. The trail crosses Cypress Creek twice. Cypress Creek is a tributary. There are bridges over the streams and some wet areas, but other areas can be under water or quite muddy when there is much rain.

The northern leg of the trail is generally higher and drier, but there are still a couple of spots that can be wet. There is a primitive campground with one site off the north leg of the trail.

The nice part about this trail is how it varies along its length. It makes for an interesting run and does not get boring.

Flora & Fauna

There is much evidence of wild hogs where they have rooted up the ground. There are deer, bobcats, and many types of birds. The vegetation continuously varies along the trail. There are tall pine trees, young pine trees, oaks and other hardwoods, palmettos, vines, and many wildflowers. The old oaks in the wetlands give the area a ghostly view in places.

History & Background

The 2,418 acres of land were purchased by the State of Florida in 1974. The state park began in 1975.

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Jul 23, 2017
David Ciesla
Much of the far loop is underwater in the summer especially after the turn south and along the river. The far loop is overgrown in areas.

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 15 votes


  4.3 from 15 votes
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2,954 Since Jan 3, 2016



Crossing one of the bridges - caution: they can be very slippery.
Jul 19, 2019 near Sun Cit…, FL
Ferns on the trail
Oct 14, 2019 near Sun Cit…, FL
The trail going under an old live oak tree.
Feb 6, 2016 near Sun Cit…, FL
The trail goes under a large broken branch. The trail has now been rerouted out from under this branch.
Feb 6, 2016 near Sun Cit…, FL
Multiple sturdy bridges help visitors travel over a tributary along the trail.
Jan 15, 2017 near Sun Cit…, FL
The Little Manatee River makes a gorgeous trailside companion.
Jan 15, 2017 near Sun Cit…, FL


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