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5 Ways To Have Fun at Lake Manatee

for Bradenton, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Beyond

Oct 06, 2015


With 244 days of sunshine gracing Bradenton each year, it’s easy to see why having fun in our part of the country is an easy thing to do. As you maybe already know, one of Bradenton’s most prized features is Lake Manatee State Park – a land filled with beautiful scenery, a relaxing lakefront and seemingly endless outdoor activities.

Located just nine miles from I-75, Lake Manatee is home to a valuable water reservoir, thick pine flatwoods and sand pine scrub. The refreshing, freshwater reservoir and family-friendly nature of the area make Lake Manatee a favorite vacation spot for both tourists and locals.

When visiting Lake Manatee, be sure to include these five fun activities in your action-packed itinerary.

1.     Camping

Lake Manatee State Park provides visitors with a well-maintained 60-site camping area that lies within walking distance from swimming and fishing areas. The campground, which allows RVs up to 65 feet in length, provides campers with water, restrooms and 30-amp electricity outlets.

The campsite charges $22.00 a night plus tax, and also requires a $6.70 reservation fee. Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older are able to receive a 50 percent discount on campsite fees. This also goes for Florida residents with a social security disability award certificate or a 100 percent disability award certificate.

For visitors who aren’t camping, the Park has a picnic area, a playground, showers and easy access to the refreshing swimming area.

2.     Fishing

One of Lake Manatee’s most popular activities is fishing: the 2,400-acre reservoir offers some of the best freshwater fishing Florida has to offer. You can expect to catch species such as:

·         Sunshine bass

·         Speckled perch

·         Bluegill

·         Crappie

·         Catfish

·         Largemouth bass

The park provides fishermen with a boat ramp and launching dock just south of the campground. It’s important to note, however, that State Park Officials only allow boat motors up to 20 horsepower on the reservoir.

Also, please note that a fishing license is likely required for you to fish at Lake Manatee. Visit Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing In Florida to ensure you’re complying with all rules and regulations.

Friends and family who aren’t eager to fish will get plenty of enjoyment out of the wildlife surrounding the boat ramp and edges of the lake. Keep an eye out for egrets, herons, alligators, deer, quail, gopher tortoises and even the elusive Florida bobcat.

3.     TreeUmph! Adventure Course

For visitors looking for a high-flying, blood-pumping good time, head to TreeUmph! Adventure Course, located just minutes outside of Lake Manatee State Park. This elevated adventure course is designed to bring family and friends together in the treetops of Southwestern Florida.

The course, which caters to everyone seven-years-old and older, is complete with wobbly ladder climbs, tight ropes, monkey bridges, and more challenging obstacles. TreeUmph! encourages guests to enjoy the experience of being in the canopies of Florida’s natural pine and oak woods while challenging and pushing themselves both mentally and physically.

4.     Canoeing and Kayaking

Because the reservoir only allows motors up to 20 horsepower, Lake Manatee is a wonderful place to enjoy canoeing and kayaking. The thousands of acres provide endless scenery and wildlife viewing areas that can only be toured by an easy canoe or kayak ride.

Feel free to bring your own canoe or kayak and put-in at the park’s boat ramp or swimming beach. The park also provides canoes and kayaks for visitors to rent. Lake Manatee State Park requires a two-hour minimum rental for $5.00 per hour, or explore the lake for an entire day for $20.00.

5.     Geo-Seeking

Whether you’re a geocaching expert or have never experienced the game before, Lake Manatee is one of the most ideal locations for exploring what all the park’s geography has to offer. This outdoor sport involves using a hand-held GPS device to hunt for treasures and learn about different types of geography.

By using location coordinates to find caches, participants can locate an array of hidden objects and intriguing landscape. Visit Geocaching.com to retrieve the coordinates and find the treasure! This is a great activity for families with older children who would appreciate the involvement of hiking and searching for treasure.

Before venturing into the sun and fun of Lake Manatee, Bradenton Insurance encourages you to take all the safety precautions for staying safe in the heat. Remember to drink plenty of water, keep cool in the water or shade, eat mindfully and use sunscreen. 

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