Jelks Preserve

2300 N River Rd
FL 34292

Jelks Preserve

Waterfront/Riverside ParkNative Forests/PlantsEco-Tour/Nature WalkSpring BlossomsInsect Watching SiteBird and Wildlife Watching


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This 614-acre preserve was purchased in 1999 through the 1% county sales tax and a very generous contribution from the Jelks Family Foundation, for which the preserve is named. The Jelks Preserve is one of the publicly-owned properties bordering the wild and scenic Myakka River, forever protecting a piece of the riverine floodplain. Visitors can view the river at three different locations, while relaxing in the shade of mature live oak trees.

While exploring the preserve’s network of trails, visitors may see diverse natural communities including hammocks, pine flatwoods and seasonal wetlands. Visitors can also observe gopher tortoises, swallowtail butterflies and swallow-tailed kites, an assortment of song birds and wildflowers, such as Carolina jessamine and coralbean. While some trails may be cool as they meander to the river through canopied hammocks, others may be open and sunny as they traverse pine flatwoods.

The preserve has more than eight-miles of trails, including the 3.3-mile outer loop trail.
The trails are unpaved but accessible for most visitors.
Be prepared for Florida’s often extreme outdoor experiences by bringing water, sun block, a rain jacket and sturdy shoes.
All trail intersections are marked with numbered trail markers.
Some trails may flood after heavy rainfall and several trails may be wet year-round at intersections with creeks and ditches.
The preserve has limited parking and is accessible via a walk-thru gate.

For more information about Jelks Preserve, call 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.​


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