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Reported: Nov. 2012; latest update: March 2016

Top 10...  Legacy Trail and Venetian Waterway Park

The Legacy Trail runs from south Sarasota to Venice along an old Seaboard Air Line Railroad corridor. The bike trail passes through Oscar Scherer State Park, continuing on to Venice, where it connects near the historic Venice Train Station to Venetian Waterway Park. Popular with bikers, joggers, walkers, and rollerbladers, together these recreational trails have something for everyone - scenery, forest, waterways, parks, beaches and history, plus access to shops and restaurants. Wildlife can also be seen. (Detailed map and photos below.)


View Larger Map
End Points: Palmer Ranch (south of SR 72) in Sarasota to Venice Avenue in Venice; continue on Venetian Waterway Park Trail to Caspersen Beach or Shamrock Park
Mileage: Legacy Trail: 11 miles; Venetian Waterway Park Trail: 10 miles
Surface: Legacy Trail - Asphalt, 12 feet; Venetian Waterway - Concrete, 8 feet
Location: Sarasota County
Trailheads: Culverhouse Nature Park, McIntosh Road, Osprey Junction, Oscar Scherer State Park, Laurel Park, Nokomis Riverview Park, Nokomis Community Center, Patriots Park, Historic Venice Train Depot, Legacy Park. (See detailed map, left)
Nearby Points of Interest: Old Venice Train Depot, former Ringling Winter Headquarters, Oscar Scherer State Park, Circus Museums at Ringling Museum (Sarasota)

THE BEST TRAIL SECTIONS TO RIDE... and additional comments by MUDFISH

With the completion of the two bay bridges and the Hwy 41 overpass, the Legacy Trail has emerged as one of the most enjoyable bicycle rides in Florida. In the center section, one can ride for over 6 miles without crossing a single road. The concrete mile posts mark the distance to the old Broad Street Station (now a science museum) in Richmond, VA.

Continuing to Venetian Waterway Park one can bike to Caspersen Beach, one of the most natural stretches of beach in Florida and a great place for finding shark's teeth.

The only downside is that there is little shade, so these trails are best during the cooler months.

More about biking along the Legacy Trail and Venetian Waterway Park

Click on the links below for more details on each trail
Legacy Trail Venetian Waterway Park
Venice Legacy Trail, Venice FL bikingVenice Legacy Trail, Venice FL biking Venice Legacy Trail, Venice FL bikingVenice Legacy Trail, Venice FL biking
Venice
Venice was winter headquarters for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus from 1960-1992, the old Circus Arena sadly was torn down in 2014. The US 41 bridge near the arena was renamed the Circus Bridge to commemorate the parade of animals and equipment from the train depot to the Circus Arena each year. Venetian Water Way Trail, Venice bikingVenetian Water Way Trail, Venice biking
Venetian Water Way Trail, Venice bikingVenetian Water Way Trail, Venice biking Venetian Water Way Trail, Venice bikingVenetian Water Way Trail, Venice biking Venetian Water Way Trail, Venice bikingVenetian Water Way Trail, Venice biking Venetian Water Way Trail, Venice bikingVenetian Water Way Trail, Venice biking Venetian Water Way Trail, Venice bikingVenetian Water Way Trail, Venice biking
Welcome to downtown
at Venice Avenue
Airport Venice Beach Venice Theater Old Circus Arena has been demolished

- See more Photos on our Facebook page
- Check out paddling at Oscar Scherer State Park

More information on the Legacy Trail and Venetian Waterway Park
(links open in a new window):

- Sarasota County Government - The Legacy Trail
- Sarasota County Government - The Legacy Trail and Venetian Waterway Park Guide (.pdf)

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Legacy Trail and Venetian Waterway Park - a Top Florida Bike Trail for Recreation and Fitness.

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Support and Advocacy

Friends of the Legacy Trail

Friends of Oscar Scherer Park

Venice Circus Arts Foundation