Map of Myakka River — Deer Prairie Creek
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About Myakka River — Deer Prairie Creek

Deer Prairie Creek Preserve was jointly acquired by the District and Sarasota County and lies between I-75 and US 41. The Schewe Tract, which lies both north and south of I-75, is managed by the District. The property was acquired to protect the floodplain of the river and the water quality of the water sources within the region.

The dominant natural communities are pine flatwoods, mixed hardwood and pine, and wetland hardwoods. A portion of the tract was utilized for cattle grazing and is being restored to a more natural condition through the reintroduction of fire on a periodic basis. Reintroduction of fire will stimulate the growth of the flatwoods species that require fire as part of their life cycle.

Recreational Opportunities


  • 75 miles of unpaved trails available.
  • Trails may be flooded following heavy rains.
  • Florida law requires bicyclists under 16 to wear helmets.

Equestrian Use

  • 22 miles of designated equestrian trails available.
  • Trails may be flooded following heavy rains.
  • Each rider must carry proof of horse’s current negative Coggins test.
  • Florida law requires equestrians under 16 to wear helmets.



  • Available on interior roads.
  • Trails may be flooded following heavy rains.


  • Along Myakka River and the adjacent Deer Prairie Creek (where available).

Picnic Facilities

  • Limited picnic tables available.

Access and Parking

North Entrance — 7001 Forbes Trail. Deer Prairie Creek Preserve is at the end of Forbes Trail and can be reached by exiting to the north from I-75 at Exit 193, following Jacaranda Boulevard to the north to Border Road, proceeding east on Border Road to South Moon Drive, proceeding south on South Moon Drive until it intersects Forbes Trail and proceeding east on Forbes Trail.

South Entrance — 10201 South Tamiami Trail. One mile east of River Road — US 41 (Tamiami Trail) intersection on South Tamiami Trail between Venice and North Port.

Restrooms and Water

No restrooms or water available.


South-central Sarasota County, west of the City of North Port

Nearby Recreation Lands

For More Information

Sarasota County Natural Resources Department, (941) 861-5000

Visit this Property

Street Address

7001 Forbes Trail
Venice, FL 34285
(Google map)


10,128 acres

Hours of Operation

April — October: 7:30 a.m.–8 p.m.
November — March: 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m.

More info below...

Conservation Lands of Southwest Florida
Florida Wilderness

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