The Legacy Trail: Explore Sarasota, Osprey, Nokomis and Venice Florida by Bicycle
The Legacy Trail is a recreational and nature based trail system for hiking and biking that spans 10 miles from Sarasota to Venice, Florida.
There are many areas along the paved trail where you can stop to rest, learn about the history of Legacy Trail or just enjoy the scenery.
The north point of the Legacy Trail is near Palmer Ranch in Sarasota, just south of the Seminole Gulf Railway’s current terminus.
The trail continues south, in a fairly straight line towards Venice, FL as it passes underneath State Road 681 through Nokomis. South of Nokomis, Legacy Trail crosses Dona Bay and then into Venice.
The end of the 10 miles trail is just south of the U.S. 41 overpass at the historic Venice Seaboard Air Line Railway Station, which is currently a bus station.
At the station, it connects with another trail system known as the Venetian Waterway Park which continues south along the Intracoastal Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico. The Venetian Waterway Park is also a 10 mile hiking and biking trail with rest areas, parks and other popular attractions along the way. See our Venetian Waterway Park page for more information. (coming soon)
The Legacy Trail opened in 2008 along the Sarasota County area’s historic rail corridor.
The railroad line was originally built in 1911 as part of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad’s extension to Venice. It was abandoned in the mid 2000s due to decreased demand for service and the deteriorating condition of the tracks and bridges. Sarasota County in conjunction with the Trust for Public Land acquired the right of way for use as a trail.
In 2011, a 12 feet wide overpass was built to provide passage over U.S. 41, a major six-lane highway. Prior to this construction, trail users had to use a crosswalk.
At mile marker 897.6 South Creek an original railroad trestle crossing remains but the newer bridge carries the trail over the creek.
Roadway crossings display decorative railroad signals with cross bucks that read “Sarasota Rail Trail.”
The Legacy Trail is open from dawn to dusk with the rules for using the trail posted at various locations as well as at each trailhead entrance point.
In addition to the trailheads, users will find rest station areas approximately every mile that offer places to sit and relax. The rest stops include seven trailheads which offer access points with free parking.
- Culverhouse Nature Park in Sarasota (future park)
- Osprey Junction Trailhead in Osprey (future park)
- Laurel Park in Laurel
- Nokomis Community Park in Nokomis
- Oscar Scherer State Park in Nokomis
- Patriots Park in Venice
- Historic Venice Train Depot in Venice
Bay Street Park Trailhead- 300 Bay Street, Osprey
Bay Street Park is located about 1/2 mile east of US Hwy 41 in Osprey, FL and offers a playground, picnic facilities and restrooms. Future improvements on Bay Street include sidewalks and bike lanes. Bay Street Park Trailhead (pdf Map)
Oscar Scherer State Park- 1843 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey
Laurel Park offers a walking and fitness trail, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, restrooms, a large picnic pavilion, several smaller picnic shelters and a community garden as well as access to the Sandra Sims Terry Community Center. Laurel Park Trailhead (pdf)
Nokomis Park Trailhead- 234 Nippino Trail East, Nokomis
Nokomis Community Park is a 17 acre scenic park with restrooms, kayak launch, a covered basketball court, two sand volleyball courts, two tennis courts, a covered stage, cricket field, multi-purpose field, a fishing pier, six covered picnic shelters with grills, a covered children’s playground and a 1/2 mile shell-mix walking trail with fitness work out stations. Nokomis Community Trailhead Map (pdf)
Patriot’s Park Trailhead- 800 Venetia Bay Blvd. Venice
Patriots Park features restrooms, picnic tables and rest benches. The park is also home to a paved courtyard dedicated to veterans of world wars, first responders, the victims of 9/11 and heroes everywhere. Patriot’s Park Trailhead map (pdf)
Venice Trail Depot Trailhead- 303 East Venice Ave, Venice
The Rollins W. Coakley Railroad Park and Historic Venice Train Depot is the perfect spot to hold a family reunion, meeting or have a special event party. The Freight Room comfortably accommodates up to 120 guests. This unique facility also houses a small museum with displays native to the Venice area and the locomotive industry.
Culverhouse Nature Park Trailhead- 7301 McIntosh Road, Sarasota
This 82 acre future park will be located in the residential community of Palmer Ranch. It will provide recreational amentities such as nature trails, a community garden and picnic areas.
Osprey Junction Trailhead- 939 E. Bay St, Osprey
This 10 acre park site is located adjacent to the Legacy Trail and will feature parking, benches and picnic areas as part of the initial phase of improvements.
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