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Jelks Preserve, Venice

#8 of 9 in Wildlife in Venice
Nature / Park · Hidden Gem · Wildlife Area
Jelks Preserve is a 614-acre natural preserve with 8 miles of trail along the Myakka River in southern Sarasota County, Florida.

Located at 2300 North River Road, the land was purchased in 1999 via the one percent county sales tax and a donation from the Jelks Family Foundation (namesake for the preserve). The habitat is riverine floodplain and includes live oak with epiphytes as well as Carolina jessamine and coralbean wildflowers. Wildlife include gopher tortoises, swallowtail butterflies, swallow-tailed kites, and song birds.
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Jelks Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
56 reviews
  • I downloaded the map from the website. There are lots of options. We went on the trail straight down to the river. Then we went down some smaller trails off of that trail. There were many beautiful...  more »
  • We arrived at Jelk’s at 8:00 am on a Sunday morning. At that time there were only 3 other cars in the parking lot. To guide yourself through the trails you can take a picture of the trails at the...  more »
  • Florida as it was! I enjoy the rustic more primitive parks. Pack it in pack it out like it always should be. Myakka River views are brilliant! Lots of wildflowers and native flora and fauna. 😍
  • Nice easy trail. You can see the river from 3 points off of the trail. (Make sure to get a map.) Several areas were impassable due to water on 1/2/2019 starting at trail marker 8 and several trails between the loop. If you go, wear knee-high rain boots. Saw a gopher tortoise and many birds.

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