Myakka State Park: A Geocaching Paradise In Florida

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I knew as soon as I knew I was visiting Florida in January, specifically a little South Florida road trip, that I wanted to go to Myakka State Park by Naples specifically to find this bottlecap covered Geocache.  Is that weird?  I don’t even care.  It’s the coolest I’ve found so far, for sure.

The first thing I had to do once we got into the park was. find that Geocache.  It wasn’t too far into the park and it was right along the road making it a nice, quick find. 

The hardest part was figuring out how to open it.  I didn’t include pictures of it opened because that’s half the fun of this one.

Myakka state park canopy walk

We went off trail a bit to find this then set about grabbing caps to try and get the thing open.  Eventually, we figured it out and signed the log before heading back out to the car. 

This isn’t super hidden, it is a pretty decent sized wood box, after all, but it is tucked away in the palmettos.

On our way out to the car, I kind of walked through a plant, and my knee got caught in it and it got all scratched up.  It looked like a cat attacked it, so if you’re looking for this one, watch out for what you’re walking through.

Myakka state park geocache

After that, we just drove the park roads before doing the canopy walk.  This is a short trail, under a mile for the whole thing, that takes you through the hammock forest and up above the treetops. 

There are two levels of walkways so if you don’t want to go all the way to the top, you don’t have to. This is a fun little trail and great for seeing the park and the Florida landscape from a totally new perspective. 

We didn’t do a whole lot on our visit to the park and aren’t dying to go back but I would like to sometime.  It felt like a weird state park because there was so much road in the park, it felt more like a national park, but smaller. 

Most Florida state parks just have a short road and parking area before the trails, but you can drive through a lot of Myakka, which is cool.

Overall, I would recommend it if you’re in the area and especially if you like Geocaching.  This would be a great park to spend a few days in to really hike and bike around and maybe do a boat tour or some paddling.

If you’re just going for a few hours, I would probably pick something else. Maybe I’ll feel differently about it if I hiked more there but I didn’t love it (even when I went back in 2021.)

Myakka state park canopy walk

Where is Myakka State Park?

It’s just over a half-hour from Sarasota to Myakka River State Park and about an hour and fifteen minutes from Fort Myers to the park.  It’s a great day trip from either or a great stop between the two.

How much is Myakka State Park?

$6 per vehicle, $4 for a single occupant vehicle, and $2 for pedestrians and bikers.  There are other fees for rentals and camping as well.

When is Myakka State Park open and how long do I need for it?

They are open 8AM to sunset 365 days a year.  You could easily spend a whole day here.  Maybe even two depending on what you want to do.  But if you just have a few hours, that’s great, too.  There is plenty to keep you busy no matter how long you stay.

Myakka state park canopy walk

What to bring to Myakka State Park

For the day in Myakka State Park

Water bottle – It’ll be hot and humid and you’ll need to stay hydrated.  A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.

Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen.  I like the Neutrogena a lot, but if you’ll be visiting a beach soon, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.

Myakka state park canopy walk

Sunglasses – This is a must, especially with the strong Florida sun.  Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.

Bug spray – You’ll want to bring this no matter when you visit, but especially if you want to go in the summer.  I like the Ben’s bug spray as well as the Off! Deep Woods.

Pants – If you’re walking through water, you’ll want to wear pants so your legs don’t get cut up by the sawgrass.  They’re also a good idea if it’s a particularly buggy time of year.

Long sleeve shirt – A long sleeve shirt will help protect you from mosquitos.  This is a must for a summer visit, but not 100% necessary for January and February, but it would be nice if its cooler out.

Myakka state park canopy walk

For camping in Myakka State Park

Tent – I love the REI Passage 2 tent for one or two people.  It’s small and fairly light.  If you need a four-person tent, I’d go with this one, the REI Half DomeYou can check out my tent here.

Sleeping pad – Gotta make the tent comfy!  The one I have isn’t available anymore but this one is similar.  It’s self-inflating and just needs a little help filling all the way.  Buy the sleeping pad here.

Sleeping Bag – I have the Nemo Viola 35 and love it because it’s not as restrictive as the mummy bags.  It has ventilation slits for those warmer nights.  Check out my sleeping bag here.

Puffy quilt – If you’re a really warm sleeper and visiting in the summer, a puffy quilt might be a better option.  I prefer this for hotter nights.  Check out the Rumpl camp quilts here.

Myakka state park canopy walk

Pillow – If you’re just driving, I’d just bring a regular pillow, but if you’re flying then renting a car, you might want a smaller pillow.  This is a good non-inflatible option.  Here is a good inflatable option.

Camp chairs – If you plan on doing a lot of camping outside of this trip, and backpacking especially, the REI Flexlite chairs are great choices.  Check out the camp chairs here.

Lantern – I love having a lantern for in the tent at night, reading in the dark, or going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  The LuminAID is my favorite and you can charge your phone on it.  Buy the LuminAID lantern here.

Camping in Myakka State Park

Camping in Myakka State Park is $26 per night, plus tax and a non-refundable reservation fee of $6.70.  There are 90 campsites split over three campgrounds with water and electric hookups along the river in the park. 

There are also cabins available for $70 per night and primitive camping sites for $5 per person in the campground area.

Myakka state park geocache

Geocaching in Myakka State Park

I mean it’s a Geocaching paradise literally.  As in, there are over 500 caches in and around the park.  Yes.  Over 500.  It’s honestly half the reason I wanted to go even, for this one specific cache (pictured with the bottle caps).

The roads and trails through the parks are literally lined with caches so whether you want a quick find or to work for it a little more, there will be dozens, if not hundreds, to choose from.  You could easily spend days here just Geocaching.  It’s so great.

Other things to do in Myakka State Park

If you don’t just want to go to Myakka State Park to Geocache, that’s ok.  There are plenty of other ways to stay busy and enjoy all the park has to offer.

Biking in Myakka State Park

This park is great for biking because it actually has a lot of road going through the park, which a lot of state parks (not just in Florida) don’t have. 

You can either bring your own bike or rent one in the park.  A regular bike is $15-$40, depending on how long you rent it.  A tandem bike is $30-$80, depending on how long.

Hiking in Myakka State Park

There is a 38.9 mile hiking loop in the park that can be hiked all together or in smaller sections depending on what you want to do. 

If you want a cool short hike, check out the Canopy Trail.  The bridge you see in one of my pictures if from that and you actually get to walk above the treetops!

Myakka state park canopy walk

Boat tours in Myakka State Park

Boat tours are $20 for adults and $12 for kids.  The tours run every two hours from 9AM to 5PM and will take you around Myakka Lake.  It’s a great way to learn about the park and the river.  The tour is 45-60 minutes and has covered, but not enclosed, seating.

Canoeing and kayaking in Myakka State Park

Canoes and kayaks are both $20 for the first hour plus $5 per hour after that.  You will need a permit for paddling on the river or lake and you can get that at the ranger station. 

Water levels can be low in the dry season and may require some portaging (carrying the vessel around shallow or dry parts) and the currents may be fast in the wet season.  Make sure you check water and weather conditions before going.

If you’re going to bee int the Sarasota area and want to do some hiking, biking, or paddling, this is a great option!  It’s a great park for families, day trips, camping trips, and longer RV visits, too.

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