Discover the Legacy Trail – a scenic bike ride from Sarasota to Venice, Florida

Trailhead Nokomis

The Legacy Trail, a 12.4 mile paved trail in Sarasota County, Florida, is one of the best ways to experience what it means to enjoy the outdoors’ year round. The trail is perfect for biking, rollerblading, jogging and walking. If you want to take Fido with you, you can. However, your little furry friend has to be on a leash, but that is the only inconvenience he has to face. Not bad, isn’t it?

In the summer months, the best idea is to go biking or jogging early in the morning. There is lots of shade available from the trees and bushes, and the evenings are very comfortable as well. The Trail is not lighted; therefore, it is only open from sunrise to sunset, 365 days. In the summertime, the sun sets around 8-9 PM, in the wintertime it is usually dark by 6 PM. The trail is 12 feet wide, has 15 rest areas with benches and shade, some even with restrooms, and several trail heads. Learn about the trail’s history (there are several boards explaining the history of the trail) or just enjoy the beauty of nature, the scenery and the wildlife. By the way: If you are lucky, you may even see a bobcat roaming the area – what a beautiful cat. Remember to pack plenty of water when you go on your ride, because there are no water fountains at all. Especially if you want to do your exercise in the middle of the day in the summertime – be prepared, it is hot out there.

As you travel along the trail, you will cross several bridges. The one over Dona Bay, in Nokomis, has a breathtaking view over the bay. The bridge over South Creek is one of the remaining trestles, originally built in 1911. On your way from Sarasota to Venice, you will pass Oscar Scherer State Park. If you need a little relief for your butt, you can walk different trails to explore Florida’s nature. You can choose between one, two or four mile long trails. After your little walk, you can continue with your ride.

When you arrive at the southern most point of the Trail, you will see the historic and restored Venice Train Depot. However, this must not be the end of your bike ride. If you feel that after 11 miles, you are still not done, you have more options: The Venetian waterway park trail, 10 miles in length, follows along both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway towards Englewood. From the Venice Train Depot, you can also continue to Shamrock Park, where you can play tennis or basketball, or you can continue to Caspersen Beach, one of my favorite beaches in Venice. Park your bike against a tree and walk the beach. You can actually walk for miles, or take a dip in the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico, or do both.

Once in a while, bikers are getting hungry, right? There is really no need to die of starvation. You can exit the trail very easily on Laurel Road, where Restaurants and Grocery Stores can be reached within half a mile. That is not too bad.

At the Venice Train Depot, it may be a good idea to exit the Trail as well. You should go and explore Venice Downtown; you’ll find Cafes, Pizzerias Ice Cream, Cream Parlors, and all kinds of different stores. Here you can conveniently put all the calories back on which you just lost while riding down the trail. Remember, you have still twelve miles left if you have to ride back to Sarasota. That puts a different perspective on that ice cream cone in front of you.

This is Sarasota County, right on the Gulf Coast, where outdoor living is possible all year round. Come and enjoy!

Click here for a map of the Legacy Trail.

        

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