Myakka State Forest

Location | Natural Features | Recreation | Contacts

Myakka State Forest is located in the south western portion of Sarasota County within the city limits of North Port. The forest was purchased in 1995 as part of the Myakka Estuary Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) project using Preservation 2000 and Save Our Rivers funds.

Using sound ecosystem management, the Florida Forest Service practices multiple-use in managing the forest resources which includes timber management, outdoor recreation, wildlife management, and both ecological and hydrological restoration. the Southwest Water Management District provided funding to purchase half of the state forest and is an important cooperator in the management of the property, especially in regard to hydrological management. 


The Myakka State Forest is located in southern Sarasota County approximately 10 miles southeast of Venice and 7 miles west of Port Charlotte. The majority of the forest falls within the city limits of North Port. Access is available off of River Road, about 11 miles south of I-75.

Natural Features

Myakka State Forest is made up primarily of mesic flatwoods with a mixture of longleaf pine and slash pine overstory with a palmetto understory. Numerous depression marshes are scattered throughout the flatwoods, providing many opportunities for viewing wading birds and other wildlife. The forest includes approximately 2.5 miles of frontage on the Myakka River which is designated as an Outstanding Florida Water and a Wild and Scenic River. The Myakkahatchee Creek flows throughout the forest for 1.5 miles and provides an additional water resource.


Trailwalker Hiking Program Recreational opportunities on Myakka State Forest include camping, hiking, off-road bicycling, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and small game hunting.

The streams on the forest provide a source for fishing, boating, canoeing and kayaking. Myakka State Forest contains 2 hiking trails (North Loop and South Loop) that are included in the Florida Forest Service's Trailwalker Hiking Program, as well as horse trails in the Trailtrotter Equestrian Program.

In keeping with its mission to protect and manage Florida's forest resources, the Florida Forest Service has developed rules which apply to all State Forest visitors.
Find out more about state forest fees and rules.

Myakka State Forest is managed for hunting and fishing as the Myakka Public Small Game Hunting Area (PSGHA) through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

October through January Hunting Dates for Myakka State Forest
Season Myakka Public Small Game Hunting Area
Archery Oct 19 - Oct 25, 2013
Muzzle Loading Gun Nov 02 - Nov 08, 2013
Small Game (Shotgun with buck or slug):

Nov 09 - Dec 08, 2013

Dec 21, 2013 - Jan 12, 2014 

FWC's Hunting Regulations

 * State Forest Use Permit Required