Your Sarasota biking adventures should include the Legacy Trail. There’s nothing like a breeze in your face as you pedal across your path while the warmth of the sun tans you as you ride.
Freedom. Scenery. Adventure. Exercise. Fresh Air. Florida sunshine. Outdoors. Ahhh!
This $14.7 million, 10.6 mile stretch of pathway meanders through some of the off road scenic areas of Sarasota County from Sarasota to Venice.
This is not a “pedal as fast as you can” trip as the speed is limited to 15 mph or less.
After all, it’s not a Velodrome, but a place for folks from all walks of life to enjoy at their leisure and at a leisurely pace!
Completed as part of the long awaited “rails-to-trails-project,” the grand opening for this Sarasota biking trail took place on March 29, 2008 with great fanfare and ribbon cutting ceremonies throughout the county.
While called a “trail,” it is not a “primitive” stone, gravel or dirt pathway, but paved, allowing not just cyclists, but walkers, hikers, joggers, roller skaters and roller bladers as well on this smooth surface.
Therefore there are some rules and protocols to observe when using the trail, as I’ll outline below, so that you can enjoy the best experience.
The Legacy Trail, a 12 foot wide path, also offers several benches and a few covered shelters along the way.
The Trail begins at the intersection of Palmer Ranch Parkway and McIntosh Road on the north end of the bike trail and runs through Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, crosses Laurel Road in Nokomis and goes over Roberts and Dona Bays, across the U.S. Rt. 41 bypass bridge in Venice and winds up at the Historic Venice Train Depot, the end of the trail on its south side.
There are numerous “Trailheads” and other places from where you can access the Legacy Trail for your Sarasota biking trip:
There is free parking at all Trailheads, but not all access points. All Trailheads also include restrooms and water.
North end trail parking is located on McIntosh Road just south of Palmer Ranch Parkway.
The Legacy Trail’s hours are 6 a.m. to dusk.
Rules: Stay to the right, 15 mph limit, pass in single file, designated smoking areas, under 16 must wear a helmet, dispose of trash. Walkers: walk on the right no more than 2 abreast.
Tips: Wear sunscreen, a hat or helmet, sunglasses, your gear and bring water.
The best time to ride is early-mid morning or late afternoon rather than during the hottest part of the day.
Here’s a map of the Legacy Trail you can print out and take along with you on your adventures. Click here for the map! (will open a new browser window)
Here’s even more on Sarasota’s Legacy Trail including rules and etiquette to follow on your Sarasota Biking adventure on the Legacy Trail.
May the wind be at your back and happy peddling!