If you are visiting Siesta Key or Sarasota and want to take a leisurely bike ride through a natural setting – you can’t go wrong on The Legacy Trail. This recreational trail is about 18.5 miles long and runs from Sarasota downtown southwards to Venice. It features a paved surface and is 12 feet wide, allowing plenty of room for bicyclists and pedestrians to share the Trail. Because of its design, the Trail is a popular place to safely ride with children while enjoying Florida’s natural environment. Here are some additional facts about The Legacy Trail for those who are interested in bike riding to explore the area.
6 Quick Facts About the Legacy Trail
- As noted, the Trail is 18.5 miles long and offers 15 designated areas to stop and rest along the way. There are outhouse toilet facilities in several locations.
- The Trail is very flat (as is the norm in Florida). It is also very straight, as it was built on an old railroad line. However, although railways are not known for their beauty, the Legacy Trail winds through parks and preserves – including Oscar Scherer State Park – on its way to Venice.
- The Trail necessarily intersects with roads every few miles but, for the most part, is safely separated from vehicular traffic. Two overpass projects have been approved for construction to avoid intersections.
- The Trail passes over both Dona Bay and Roberts Bay as bikers approach Venice, offering a beautiful view of these waterways.
- Most of the trail is located in a low-level wooded area, but it does pass through some fields and open areas.
- There are signs along the way that relate interesting facts about the area’s history and natural environment.
- You are likely to see rabbits, gopher tortoises, and many birds along your journey.
Local Tip: There are no shops or restaurants directly on the Legacy Trail. It is recommended that bikers carry any drinks and snacks they’ll need with them – especially with children. If you are looking to stop off for lunch, you’ll discover many local eateries just a few miles off the Trail, most notably in Gulf Gate and Venice.
Planning your Bike Ride on the Legacy Trail
For those looking to experience a longer bike ride, Venice provides the perfect turnaround point. If you start at the mid-Sarasota trailhead, located at 7905 McIntosh Road, the round trip is approximately 24 miles. Starting at the downtown point of origin (Payne Park) will result in a 37-mile round-trip cycle. There are fifteen trailheads featuring free parking, and several other “on and off points” as well. (Click Here for a Map of the entire Legacy Trail and more information.)
However, those who are biking with children – or anyone not accustomed to long bike rides – can easily turn around at any point on the trail, as it is simply a long, straight run in either direction.
Is the Legacy Trail accessible? Because it is wide, flat, and paved, the Legacy Trail is appropriate for anyone using mobility equipment – or choosing to explore the area on foot.
Rent a Bike to Start Your Adventure
Ride and Paddle not only rents kayaks and paddle boards, but we also have bicycles appropriate for the entire family! If you are visiting Siesta Key – or have family visiting you in Sarasota – and you need quality bicycles, look no further than our one-stop shop. We provide the bicycles, E-bikes, children’s bikes, and beach cruisers you need for your time exploring. We also carry bikes with child seats, “kiddie carts” to pull behind your bike, helmets, baskets, and bike locks. (Be sure to reserve these items when you call.)
From kayaks and bikes to expert local recommendations for outdoor fun and exploration – Ride and Paddle is the call you need to make.