Credited as Florida's first rail-trail, this paved 6.5 mile trail travels the lingth of the Gulf Coast barrier island, offering a host of activities, from sunbathing to state park rambles. The causeway crossing & sites along the way charge fees.
When you walk, run, skate or bike the nearly 8-mile Cape Haze Pioneer Trail, you're tracing the line that once serviced Florida's early phosphate industry & also moved people, livestock & locally grown crops to waiting steamships in Boca Grande.
Ancient sharks once cruised the waters off modern-day Venice. Folks flock here not just because it's at the end of the road, but it's the prime spot along the coast to unearth the fossilized teeth of ancient sharks.
With so many opportunities for different lengths of hikes, the trail system at Jelks Preserve provides everyone with somewhere to get outdoors. A marker system & maps at the trailhead make it easy to find your way.
Several activities are available to the public within the park's 271-acres including archery, hiking, camping (youth only) and the shooting sports. The camp site sits under a canopy of large oak trees & a great place to hold reunions, picnics, etc.
Circling one of Oscar Scherer State Park's notable water features, Lake Osprey-the park's newest trail, opened in 2010-offers a natural surface exploration of the uplands surrounding the artesian-spring-fed waters. Birding is excellent.