Hiking / Running
Hiking and running are favorite activities for visitors and locals in Sarasota. From beaches to parks and trails, there are endless possibilities of places to go. Get started with the best places to hike and run on the SunCoast.
Runners and hikers love to change it up. The SunCoast is just the place for great hikes and runs because of the variety of wildlife, marine and plant life all around. All around the area of such fantastic natural beauty that people flock from all over just to hike and run these quintessential trails. Find out what the trails are and why hikers and runners love Sarasota so much.
Running is not only a great activity that is good for the body but also for the mind and spirit. Heading out on the trails is one of the best ways to see Sarasota, whether people are visiting or local to the area. Check out some of the best places to head out for a run in Sarasota.
Fleet Feet, Fit 2 Run, Dick’s, and other sporting goods stores provide plenty of gear for runners, joggers, and hikers. Be sure to check out their selection of shoes, backpacks, water bottles for runners, and more to make the experience a good one. They also are great at offering details on little known spots to go away from crowds or to see some really interesting local nature, flora, and sights others might not know about. Don’t hesitate to shop local when coming to the area and ask for some great ideas on how to gear up for those hikes and runs.
Venice is not right in Sarasota but it is fairly close and trail hikers love to visit this preserve for many reasons. The landscape is away from crowds and birds love to flock here for the quiet ambiance as much as humans do. Bring a pet for a nice walk or pack gear for a bit of a longer hike around the trails. Some amenities include:
- Picnic tables
- Marked and numbered trails
- Unpaved for going off the beaten path
- Trail maps to highlight areas to wander
The preserve is open from 6 a.m. to sunset with no entrance fees but limited parking. Arrive early to avoid both the heat and crowds during the busy season.
Even though the Gulf Coast is not known for its hills, there are still plenty of runners who love the rugged terrain. The Sarasota Bay view is just one reason to love this location .Ringling hiking and running includes a loop trail under a bridge and water-level playground near Hart’s landing and fishing pier. Joggers who bring kids in strollers may love this feature. Watch fishermen grab their catches on Bird Key shore and see lots of the sights of Sarasota along the way.
Myakka River State Park
Sarasota has one of the most gorgeous parks in the area with Myakka. THe river spans 58 square miles for a nice stretch of open water to enjoy while hiking or running. Historically, the park hosts oak trees, turtles, and alligators. At almost 40 miles long, there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the space. Summer can be hot so be sure to grab lots of liquids before heading out and sun gear. Also be sure to:
- Check in at the ranger station
- Have GPS enabled watches, phones, or devices
- Get a trail map and know the route
- Bring plenty of water and snacks
- Watch surroundings for wildlife before heading off the beaten path
- Same fees apply as Oscar Scherer State Park for entry
Shaded canopy walk can be really refreshing in summer during and after a run. The tower overlooks Myakka River State Park with quintessential views of Sarasota.Some cool features:
- One of the first canopy walks in Florida
- Modeled after ones created in South American rainforests
- Excellent view of birds and other wildlife for those who combine running or jogging with birding and other activities
Enjoy some shaded trails that follow the banks of this shallow creek. The Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is a great place to end up but Oaks Park is also a great starting off point for joggers and runners. Some things to know about Oak Park:
- A 17 acre neighborhood park in the creek Greenway
- Explore nature and wildlife in the area with intricate trail systems
- Seating areas in park
- Picnic tables
- Swing benches
- Oak hammock trees
- Alligators and deer
The park’s great connection to Oak Park makes it a fantastic place to go for a run and enjoy the fresh air and ambiance.
Joggers will love the boardwalks and wetlands of Celery Fields. Hikers love the trails but runners and joggers often come for the picturesque views of the water. Make sure to stop by the Audubon Nature Center on the way.
Nathan Benderson Park
Be sure to visit this outstanding park which has a world class rowing facility. Take a view of the rowers while circling the lake during a 5k or marathon. Shopping is nearby as well as hotels to stay for visitors. THe facility is one of the most scenic in Sarasota. Some additional info:
- 3 miles is 1 lake loop
- 5 miles is 1.5 loops
- 10 miles is 3 loops
Hit the beach when running with this gorgeous scenic view of the Gulf Coast. Seven miles of seaside vistas make it a wonderful surface for runners and walkers at low tide. Sidewalks are accessible and designed for running on roads with villages and space to run without impediment. Look for nearby hotels for visitors or guests. Best routes:
- 3 mile run along the sand
- 6 mile length of Siesta Beach
- Take a longer loop for views of Midnight Pass Road and head back
- Look for markers along the way, benches and places to rest and take in the views
Casey Key is a low traffic place with winding roads and views of the Gulf. Casey Key is a beautiful beach with a public pavilion to rest just over the Nokomis Bridge. Popular areas also include Manasota Key, North Port, and plenty of half marathons, 10ks, and other popular runs and fun races in the area.