Biking and Walking the Legacy Trail in Sarasota, Florida

Biking and Walking the Legacy Trail in Sarasota, Florida. The multi-use trail is open year-round from 6 a.m. to sunset and is dog friendly. Trailheads, parking and more information. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com

By Laurén Ettinger

For Sarasota, Florida visitors and locals looking to spend a bit of time exercising in the outdoors, Sarasota County’s Legacy Trail is an excellent choice. The trail is just over 10 miles long and is straight, smooth, and level. Additionally, there are only a few street crossings making it an excellent biking or walking trail for all age and ability levels. Traverse the old Seaboard Railroad corridor through beautiful sections of rural Florida and over bridges with water views.

The Legacy Trail paved multi-use recreational trail for biking, hiking in Sarasota and Venice, Florida. Photo by Nita Ettinger. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com
Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Trailheads and Parking

The Legacy Trail begins at the Historic Venice Train Depot and continues for 10.8 miles through Sarasota, Florida. By 2022, the trail will be extended all the way to Payne Park in downtown Sarasota, for a total of 18.1 miles of paved walking and biking bliss. There are seven total trailhead access points, all with free parking. The trail is open year-round from 6 a.m. to sunset and is dog friendly. While much of the trail is exposed to the Florida sunshine, there are shaded benches and drinking fountains about every mile. 

The Legacy Trail paved multi-use recreational trail for biking, hiking in Sarasota and Venice, Florida. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com
Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Residents and visitors with mobility challenges can still enjoy the trail thanks to the Surrey Program. Colorful six-passenger surreys leave from Laurel Park near Nokomis on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from January 14th through April 15th at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and noon. During January, February, and March surrey rides are also offered on the first Friday and second Saturday of each month. Reservations are required via voicemail at (941) 486-2757, for more information visit the Sarasota County Government site here.

Bikers and walkers beginning at the trail start also have the opportunity to explore the beautiful Historic Venice Train Depot, built in 1927. The depot is open year-round on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and features an exhibit on the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. Make sure to look out for the statue of circus performer Gunther Gebel-Williams next to the depot. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus used to use the tracks to transport their show. While visiting the trail, keep your eyes peeled for old railroad mile markers, reminding you of its past.

Another trail highlight can be found midway at Oscar Scherer State Park. For an additional entrance fee, visitors can explore the large park through camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, kayaking, and more! With a total of 1,400 acres to explore and 15 miles of hiking and biking trails, the park is highlight for nature lovers. The section of the trail between the train depot and Oscar Scherer State Park makes for a pleasant 5.3-mile bike or walk and covers the most interesting landmarks on the Legacy Trail including three waterway crossings and two major bridges. 

Bike the Legacy Trail multi-use trail in Sarasota, Florida. Must Do Visitor Guides.

Written by: Laurén Ettinger | Author Website

Laurén Ettinger runs the travel and vanlife blog Flit Float Fly Away where she shares travel tips and stories from life on the road with her dog. She is the Assistant Editor at Siesta Publications for Must Do Visitor Guides where she manages social media, writes blog articles, and assists in editing print and online copy. Laurén also works as a freelance copy editor and proofreader. She holds a M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in Global Studies from Appalachian State University. Follow her adventures on instagram or her blog www.flitfloatflyaway.com

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