Sarasota Biking on the Legacy Trail

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.

Biking on the Legacy Trail in Sarasota Florida
Legacy trail sign in Sarasota Florida
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The Legacy Trail Surrey Rides Have Returned     for 2024

Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, in partnership with Friends of The Legacy Trail (FLT), announced this week the start of the 2024 surrey ride program. This popular program offers a fun option for residents and visitors who are mobility-challenged or might otherwise be unable to enjoy the experience of riding on the trail.

Sarasota County volunteers pedal the canopy-covered surrey and guide passengers on a free 45-minute ride. The rides begin at Laurel Park on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Jan. 9 through April 10 with times available each day at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon.

Pre-registration is required by calling Central Reservations at 941-861-PARK (7275) or heading to Space is limited to four participants per ride, per time slot. Registrants must have the ability to climb up one step onto the surrey. Riders should wear sun protection, a light jacket on cooler days and sturdy walking shoes.

Passengers meet inside the Sandra Sims Terry Community Center at Laurel Park, 509 Collins Road, Nokomis. All Sarasota County programs prohibit participants from smoking or bringing pets. Scheduled riders will be notified if there is a cancellation due to weather.

Biking in Sarasota

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.

Biking on the Legacy Trail in Sarasota Florida

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.

Biking on the Legacy Trail in Sarasota
Sarasota Biking on the Legacy Trail at the Venice Train Depot
Venice Train Depot the end of the Sarasota Biking Legacy Trail

Your Sarasota Biking Adventure

There are numerous “Trailheads” and other places from where you can access the Legacy Trail for your Sarasota biking trip:

  • Palmer Ranch Parkway & McIntosh Road
  • Potter Park on Central Sarasota Parkway (Trailhead)
  • Bay Street Park in Osprey (parking is at the park but the Trailhead is at the far east end of Bay Street)
  • Oscar Scherer Park in Osprey (Trailhead)

  • Laurel Road
  • Laurel Park (Trailhead)
  • Colonia Lane & Nokomis Community Park (Trailhead) all in Nokomis
  • Patriot’s Park (Trailhead) at U.S. 41, just north of the intersection of U.S. 41 Bypass North and U.S. 41 Business (formerly known as Curry Creek Park) and
  • The Venice Train Depot on Venice Avenue (Trailhead)
Biking on the Legacy Trail in Sarasota Florida

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 Sarasota biking adventures. Click here for the map! (will open a new browser window)

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)

Legacy Trail sign in Sarasota Florida

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!

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