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Casey Key Florida Information

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casey key-florida-beachCasey Key is a narrow, secluded 8-mile-long barrier island located in Sarasota County, near the town of Nokomis and approximately 15 miles south of the city of Sarasota, Florida.

Casey Key is sandwiched between Sarasota Bay to its east and the Gulf of Mexico to its west. Less than 400 people are thought to live on the island, and there are no hotels or guest houses. All other parts of the beach are considered part of private estates.

Casey Key is a narrow 8 mile long barrier island in Southwest Sarasota County, Florida. The island is a conservation area and has several miles of unspoiled beaches, making it an ideal destination for a quiet, relaxing retreat. Located near Nokomis and about 10 miles south of Sarasota, and just North of Venice, Florida.

Getting to Casey Key

Two bridges connect Casey Key to the mainland, one at either end, and the north bridge — Blackburn Point Bridge — is one of only two swing bridges known to remain in the U.S. from the 1920s. The two roads that connect with Casey Key Road are Blackburn Point Rd to the North end and Albee Road West to the South.

Casey Key Road, which runs the length of the island, is canopied by massive old-growth subtropical vegetation, pines and oaks. And, you can catch a glimpse of huge mansion estates and a few remaining Florida Cracker beach homes along the Gulf. One estate is owned by author Stephen King, who drew inspiration for his novel Duma Key while staying here.

osprey-nokomis-florida-chamber-events-beach-attractions

Beaches and Public Facilities

Access to the public beach area is available only near the southern tip of the island. Nokomis Beach is a large white sand beach, with Lyons Bay to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. It has a boat-launch ramp, boardwalk, pavillion with restroom/changing facilities, covered picnic areas and free parking. The town’s holds a drum circle event each week on Wednesday and Saturday from about 4pm to just after sundown.

At the southernmost point you’ll find the North Jetty Park beach and one of the best spots for surfing and snorkeling. The channel is a famous area for dolphin watching, and a resident pod often can be seen to the southeast of the jetty. The beaches are open daily and lifeguards are on duty during peak hours.

Wildlife Sanctuary

The Casey Key Conservation Act of 1970 designated the island as a marine and wildlife sanctuary. There are plenty of opportunities for bird-watching while biking or hiking as well as enjoying the island’s flora and fauna. Endangered sea turtles nest here and their nests are marked with stakes and orange tape. Endangered manatees also frequent the waterways here and visitors often spot dolphins swimming close to shore.

Boating

The Intracoastal Waterway is just to the east of Casey Key, which also offers opportunities for boating. Deep water boat docks are available on the bay side of the island. There are full- or half-day charters for boating in the bay and Intracoastal Waterway, with deck boats for parties of up to 10 people and pontoon boats for larger groups. Personal watercraft can be rented by people over age 18 and fees include wetsuits. Kayaking is another way to explore the area inlets and waterways, with both single- and two-rider craft available for rent.

osprey-nokomis-florida-chamber-events-beach-attractions-8Fishing

The North Jetty Beach is a popular area for shore fishing, and many anglers also fish off the rocks around the Venice Inlet. Boat charters are available from the marina for deep-sea fishing in the Gulf. Fishing gear and bait are available from the North Jetty Fish Camp on the northern bank of the inlet.

Dining

Restaurants, cafes and bars are not allowed on Casey Key. However, their are several restaurants located at the west end of the north bridge and has 175 feet of deep-water dockage for patrons’ use.

Nearby Attractions

osprey-nokomis-florida-chamber-events-beach-attractions-15Oscar Scherer State Park

Oscar Scherer State Park is located on U.S. 41, two miles south of Osprey. A large acreage of scrubby flatwoods makes this park one of the best places to see Florida scrub-jays, a threatened species found only in Florida.

The park also protects scrubby and pine flatwoods that were once widespread throughout Sarasota County. Fifteen miles of trails through these beautiful natural areas provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing.

Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along South Creek, a blackwater stream that flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Freshwater and saltwater fishing are available along the creek. Anglers can fish along the shores of Lake Osprey, which is also the park´s swimming destination.

Picnic areas along South Creek are equipped with grills; pavilions can be reserved for a fee. The park has full-facility campsites and a youth/group campground.

The Oscar Scherer Park Nature Center also has exhibits and videos about the park´s natural communities.

Historic Spanish Point

Historic Spanish Point is a 30-acre archaeological and environmental museum in Osprey, Florida, located just across Little Sarasota Bay from the north end of Casey Key.

The facility boasts the world’s only museum exhibition built inside a prehistoric shell mound. There is also a collection of pioneer-era buildings, a butterfly garden, nature trails that wander throughout the landscaped gardens and native coastal habitats, and a long boardwalk that looks out over the bay.

June 16, 2015 |

Fun at Nokomis Beach Drum Circle

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nokomis-beach-drum-circle-2013Belly Fit Fun at Nokomis Beach Drum Circle Event

by Jeannie Bloomfield

Whether you’re a local resident who’s lived in the area for awhile, or a snowbird that’s here for a short visit, you can have a fun experience in a special part of old Florida.

It’s a local tradition that may be the largest circle events of its kind on Florida’s West Coast. You’ll find it at the Nokomis Beach Drum Circle.

The drum circle has been around for decades, yet each circle event is different depending on the time of year and the weather.

People come from all over the world, and the gathering can range anywhere from a handful of people to a crowd numbering in the thousands. It’s an experience that takes you in as the drummers pound out the beat for belly dancers in costume and colorful characters dressed in beach garb. Kids of all ages step out into the circle to have fun and play. It’s people watching at its best!

It’s different watching a sun set when it happens during a drum circle event. It’s a special time to share with family and friends or claim for yourself. It’s simple! All you have to do is pack a picnic, bring a blanket or beach chairs and find a place to sit around the circle. If you want to play in the spirit of fun, bring a drum or tambourine – no experience necessary. Or you may want to get up and move around while you feel the beat of the scene. And maybe- if you can just get over yourself- you might even have the courage to step out into the circle. Whatever you choose to do…the drum circle is easy going- and it’s just plain wonderful!

The drum circle is a fun time for everyone and it shows! You can see for yourself…because wherever you look- whether you’re watching the sun set, or enjoying the scene as the moon and the stars come out- there’s lots of smiles. It’s exhilarating to be out in nature playing in the sand close to the water. The scene at Nokomis Beach Drum Circle is an experience that makes special memories that feel good!

nokomis-beach-drum-circle-belly-dancer-jeannieGive yourself the gift of enjoying the good things in life that feed the soul! Join us at the beach and watch the sunset while you have a little fun moving around the circle. If you step into it, you might discover a whole new side to yourself as you dance like there’s’ no tomorrow! I did- and it changed my life in the best of ways! I can show you how with Belly Fit Fun! So come down to Nokomis Beach and say hello! It all happens every Wednesday and Saturday a few hours before dusk. You can find me dancing at the beach or flying around watching the sunset with a big smile on my face! It’s just fun-and it doesn’t cost a thing!

Nokomis Beach is a public beach located at 100 Casey Key Rd, Nokomis, Florida, 34275, located off US 41, take Albee Road West, over the Nokomis Beach Bridge to where the road ends at the beach. For more information see NokomisBeachDrumCircle.com or OspreyNokomisChamber.com.

Jeannie Bloomfield, President of Shwayed® Inc., Founder of Intentional Interiors®, creator of the Shwayed® Way and Break Free! system for living your dreams, by sharing a mastery of feng shui design artistry for thousands of people at work and play. Bloomfield’s expertise on lifestyle design as a speaker, writer, and consultant for vital well-being shares her skills as entertainer: Jeannie The Genie, instructor of Belly Fit Fun belly dance and costume creator and Tuit® accessories. 

See Jeannie Bloomfield on YouTube. Coming soon: www.JeannieBloomfield.com and Break Free! Keys to Turn the Table and Transform Your Life, Contact Jeannie at: (941) 284-7344

 

November 26, 2013 |

Oscar Scherer State Park Trails

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Looking for a Florida Trail that your family can safely bike or hike on? The Oscar Scherer State Park Trails in Osprey Florida have everything you need for a great day of adventure!

Explore six scenic trails that meander throughout a scenic nature preserve and park with two lakes and a large creek that are a favorite for swimming, kayaking and canoeing year ’round. Campgrounds are available for those that want to stay awhile. And, the park is pet-friendly too!

Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Oscar Scherer State Park | Welcome Center Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Trail Oscar Scherer State Park: Big Lake in Nokomis Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Trail Bridge Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Hiking Trail Osprey Nokomis Florida: Lake Osprey, FL Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Camping Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Playground Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Walking Trail Oscar Scherer State Park: Florida Lakes Oscar Scherer State Park: Florida Hiking & Biking Trails Oscar Scherer State Park

The Oscar Scherer State Park was voted “America’s Best” State Park and two time National Gold Medal Winner!

Oscar Scherer State Park has over 15 miles of Florida trails for you to enjoy.

The trails range in length from one-half of a mile to five miles. All of the hiking and biking trails are marked and easy to follow. Maps of all of the trails are available in the Nature Center or click the printer-friendly link below.

Oscar Scherer Park TRAILS MAP  (PDF)

Blue Trail

The Blue Trail is a 1 1/2 mile hike through Florida Scrub-Jay habitat. It passes through mesic pine flatwoods and scrubby flatwoods. It begins at the same trailhead as the Red Trail and then follows the fence line north along a housing development. It later joins the Yellow Trail parallel to the Rails-to-Trails before returning to the starting point. Much of the Trail can be sandy in dry weather and provides little shade during the hike. Biking is allowed but can be difficult in spots. (mountain bikes can easily handle this trail)

Yellow Trail

The Yellow Trail takes about 2 1/2 hours to complete. It is 5 miles of mainly level and sandy trails. It passes the Mary Thaxton memorial and explores this remote part of the Oscar Scherer Park. it passes through mesic pine flatwoods, prairie hammocks, and scrubby flatwoods. Shorter hikes of 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 miles can be taken by following the shortcut indicated on the trail map. Many service roads intersect the trail allowing for other self-constructed routes. Benches are located along the trail. Biking is allowed but can be difficult in the soft sand. (unless you have a bicycle suitable for mountain bike trails)

Red Trail

The Red Trail can be either a 1 1/2 mile or 2 mile hike that explores the northwestern portion of the Oscar Scherer Park. It begins at the same trailhead as the Blue Trail and later splits off following the boundary of the Park along a housing development to the western boundary. Biking can be difficult in spots.

Green Trail

The Green Trail begins behind the Nature Center. It can be either a 2 or a 3 mile hike by following the marked trails but several well marked service roads allow many self-determined routes through scrubby flatwoods and mesic pine flatwoods. It crosses South Creek over the bridge leading to the Campground. After passing by a few campsites it enters Floriday Scrub-Jay habitat. The hike passes through sections of past controlled burns which are now restoring themselves to scrubby flatwoods. There is very litter tree canopy cover in this area of the park. The trail follows the boundary with a housing development which borders the park on the south. It is the best biking trail in the Oscar Scherer State Park.

South Creek Nature Trail

The South Creek Nature Trail is a 1/2 mile, one way trail, that can be started at either the picnic area across from the Nature Center or at the South Creek Parking lot. It follows South Creek and crosses the road leading into the Campground. Several markers along the trail point out aspects of the natural environment. An extensive tree canopy provides shade during the mid-day heat. It can be combined with the Lester Finley Trail for an easy hike of 1 1/2 miles. Foot traffic only is permitted on this trail.

Lester Finley Trail

The Lester Finley Trail meanders through a hardwood hammock along a tidal reach of South Creek, a blackwater stream that eventually empties into Dryman Bay. This is a “barrier-free” trail offering superb hiking opportunities for those with disabilities. Round trip distance is about a 1/2 mile and takes about 20 minutes. There is an extensive tree canopy offering shade during the heat of mid-day. There is a handicapped equipped fishing pier, two butterfly gardens, several benches, two picnic tables, and a water fountain along the trail. Additionally, there are 5 audio boxes along the trail that explain various aspects of the different  habitats. Foot traffic only is permitted on this trail.

Webpage for Oscar Scherer State Park with More Information about Trails and Facilities

 

June 3, 2013 |
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