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Nature Preserves are one of our very favorite places to explore with our kiddos…and Florida has a TON of them! We love spending time in nature and seeing where the different trails lead us! Last summer we found an absolute gem. Robinson Preserve in Bradenton, Florida is an absolutely gorgeous nature preserve that is the perfect place to take a family hike, bike ride, or launch your kayak! We spent a couple of hours exploring and hiking last summer and we can’t wait to go back for another hike and to launch our new kayaks!
What is Robinson Preserve?
Robinson Preserve is a salt marsh in Bradenton, Florida that is full of amazing wildlife. The preserve offers something for those looking for aquatic adventures and also the land lovers looking for a place to take a walk or bike ride. Robinson Preserve offers 600+ acres of nature. We parked at the main entrance which gives access to all of the hiking trails. There is also a second entrance that you would use for aquatic activities.
Since we haven’t yet tried kayaking at Robinson Preserve, I am only going to talk about the hiking and biking trails. I will follow up soon with info about the kayak launch as we are planning to take another trip down.
When we arrived at Robinson Preserve we had only intended to do a very small hike out to the 53-foot tall observation tower. However, once we started walking we didn’t want to stop exploring! There was so much beauty and wildlife to see that we kept wanting to see what was around the next corner.
Our first stop was out to the observation tower. We couldn’t get over all of the fish jumping in the marsh…they were nuts! The kids thought it was hysterical! The view from the top of the tower was beautiful. You can see a lovely view of Tampa Bay…so definitely make the short climb to the top!
The pathways and wooden bridges and walkways were all really well maintained. We were also so thankful for the picnic areas and covered benches along the way as it was SO HOT and sunny out. We took advantage of every single covered bench along the route to get a quick break from the sun. As I mentioned in the beginning, we had only intended to take a short walk, so we were so unprepared…we didn’t pack a single bottle of water! Not a great plan on a 95-degree day. Anyway, the covered areas were fantastic. We also noticed several work-out stations along the trail offering activities such as pull-ups and push-ups!
In addition to the view from the top of the observation tower, there were so many beautiful spots along the nature trail. We stopped several times in secluded spots right on the water. We were able to cool down with the slight ocean breeze and the cover of trees. The kids also loved walking through the “tunnels” that the trees made! Such a beautiful and scenic spot.
Location and Helpful Info
Robinson Nature Preserve is easily accessible from the Tampa and St.Pete area. There are several entrances to the preserve:
Main Entrance: 1704 99th st, Bradenton Fl 34209
Aquatic Entrance: 9800 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton Fl 34209 at the surferbus
For more information head to the Robinson Preserve Website!
There are bathrooms and water facilities at the main entrance. We also loved the large map laying out the area of the preserve. They also have paper maps for you to take with you on your hike.
Robinson Preserve is an awesome place to spend a few hours. We saw a TON of people walking, running, biking, and kayaking. There are picnic tables along the trails so you could easily pack a lunch and have a picnic along the water.
Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen, possibly bug spray in the buggier months, and definitely WATER! Once out on the trail there are no water stations…and it gets HOT quickly in the summer 🙂
We plan to head back again very soon. We have set a goal for 2019 to do as much exploring around our home state as we can! To read more about our family goal click here.