Robinson Preserve in Bradenton, Florida, is a wonderful place to spend the day. Located close to Anna Maria Island, it makes a good day trip if you want something to break up your beach days or if you want a day to explore nature. With over 600 acres, there is a lot to do! Robinson Preserve immerses you in nature and will help you forget your problems. It truly is a magical place and this blog post will help you feel prepared to make the most of your day at Robinson Preserve, whether you want to bike, walk, kayak, or sightsee.
There are miles of trails in the park. They are very well maintained with plenty of space to share the road. The park and trails are well-marked with information boards so you always know where you are. You can walk or ride your bike through the trails. Robinson Preserve features two main trails; one is 2.5 miles, which is paved and the other is 5 miles of shell and coastal trails. Both are easily walkable!
There are plenty of places to fish, kayak, canoe, and paddle board. You can bring your own, but there is also a kayak rental located within the preserve. You can play in the mangroves or even make your way out to the Gulf! Robinson Preserve also has two kayak lockers available to rent on an annual basis for $40/month. There are 40 at the north entrance and 120 at the south entrance.
Robinson Preserve is a family-friendly outing. There is a brand new playground and picnic area at the front of the south entrance of the park called The Canopy. It is a great place for kids who love to climb because there is a net tube, a tower, and treetop boardwalk loop. The Canopy Zone is open from sunrise to sunset.
You can expect to see wildlife while you’re there. Some of the wildlife you might see include roseate spoonbills, wood storks, white pelicans, and bald eagles.
The observation tower was our favorite part. It is 40 feet tall and offers the most amazing views. From the observation tower, you can see four different counties and five bodies of water.
Know Before You Go
There are two sections of the park. The North Entrance has a tall observation tower and the South end has the a new playground (The Canopy Zone). The south end is also where the NEST (nature, exploration, science, and technology) is located. NEST does have specific hours, typically 9am to 12 pm on certain Saturdays. They also have events, such as yoga, and guided tours. The South end of the park is the newest part of the preserve.
Addresses for the two entrances:
17th Ave NW; Bradenton FL 34209 (The “North” Entrance)
10299 9th Ave NW; Bradenton FL 34209 (The “Expansion” or “South” entrance)
There are restrooms at each entrance, which I suggest using as there are no restrooms along the trails.
We were actually expecting a quick 30-40 minute quick walk and were fairly unprepared. I would expect to spend at least 2 hours here, though many reviews indicate that people stay as many as 8+ hours. On a related note, make sure you are prepared with water and something to eat. The Florida heat is no joke. And if you are bringing your dog, don’t forget to bring water for him/her, too!
The Preserve consists of more than 682 acres! It is a coastal wetland habitat with mangroves, grasslands, saltern, and marsh. Robinson Preserve is open daily year-round (365 days per year) from sunrise to sunset. Entrance to the park is free. You can pay to rent a kayak once inside the park and some activities at the NEST are an additional cost (such as yoga).