Venetian Waterway Park Trail, Venice – Sarasota County, Florida

 

Before You Go:

There isn’t a lot of shade along this trail so, if biking during the heat of the day, sunglasses and sunscreen should be used.

If you choose to spend any length of time at Caspersen Beach, remember to bring along a bicycle chain and a beach towel! ūüôā

Getting There:

From either north or south on Interstate 75, take Exit 193, Jacaranda Boulevard south to Venice Avenue.  Head west on Venice Avenue and exit before the Venice Avenue Bridge.  You will see the Venice Train Depot on your right.  Park in any designated spot.  Alternatively, you can take U.S. Highway 41 either north of south to Venice and head west on Venice Avenue for a short distance. Exiting before the Venice Avenue Bridge.

Trail Length:

The trail length is approximately 22 miles more or less.  There are some side trips you can take that will extend the distance traveled.

The Trail:

The trailbed itself is in fairly good shape. The trail is fairly level and flat.   For those who do not like bridge crossings, simply riding along the east side of the trail can be sufficient if you add in the Legacy Trail (which is the northern end of the trail just north of the Venice Train Depot).

Facilities:

  • There are facilities at the Venice Train Depot trailhead.
  • Facilities can be found at the Shamrock Nature Center.
  • There are facilities at Caspersen Beach Park.

The Cons:

  • Other than the lack of shade, there are really no cons along this trail.

The Pros:

  • The intercoastal waterway.
  • Caspersen Beach Park along the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The various art projects along the length of the trail.

Links:

Send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

Legacy Trail – Sarasota – Sarasota County, Florida

Before You Go:

Just a note that I had to switch over to a new plugin for my trail maps.  It seems that GPSIES.Com is DOA.  If you are riding early or later in the day, you can get by without sunscreen.  Any other time of day, you will definitely want to protect yourself from the sun.  The normal equipment is recommended Рhelmet, gloves, sunglasses.

Getting There:

I started my ride at the McIntosh Road trailhead.  From either the north or the south, take exit 305 off of Interstate 75 and head west on Clark Road (Highway 72) to Honore Avenue.  Head south on Honore Avenue to Palmer Ranch Parkway.  Head west on Palmer Ranch Parkway to its end at McIntosh Road.  Head south on McIntosh road and watch for the signs marking the location of the trailhead.

Trail Length

The trail 22 miles.  From the McIntosh Trailhead south to the Venice Train Station then looping back north to the northern terminus of the trail and back to the McIntosh Trailhead..

The Trail

The Legacy Trail is not a very old trail so the trail bed is in fairly good shape.  Like most rail to trail projects, the trail is fairly arrow-straight; it runs in a southeast to northwest direction.

In case you wonder, the concrete markers with the numbers on them are in the style that, in the past, marked the distance from the northern terminus of the railroad in Richmond, Virginia.

Near Oscar Scherer State Park entrance, stop and enjoy the old railroad trestle that is preserved along the western side of the trail.

Check out the links and pictures below.

Facilities:

  • There are facilities at the Venice Station.
  • There are various covered “stations” along the trail to rest and enjoy a snack or some water.

The Cons:

  • Some may find the arrow-straight direction of the trail monotonous or tedious.
  • This is an urban trail so there are quite a few street crossings.¬† Especially along the southern 1/2 of the trail.

The Pros:

  • The sculptures along the trail.
  • Oscar Scherer State Park.
  • Dona Bay.
  • Roberts Bay.

Links:

Send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

Happy Trails ~ John