The Best Hikes in Anna Maria Island

Your vacation to Anna Maria Island is bound to be full of the outdoors. If you just want to relax on the beach, you’re totally able to do that. But if you want to get up close and personal with nature, there are several great locations nearby to do that, too. One of the best ways to see nature and get your exercise at the same time is by hiking! The trails in Anna Maria Island are great for all ages and make the perfect way to bring your family together. Here are three of our favorite hiking spots in the area.

Leffis Key Preserve

Leffis Key Preserve is a favorite spot of locals and visitors alike, mainly known for its unmatched view of Sarasota Bay. The area used to be a spoil island overgrown with non-native plants that reduced its habitat value, but the government and private organizations worked together to restore and enhance its glory. 

Florida nature

Guests are welcome to hike the 0.65-mile trail that takes them through the finest Florida nature. Footpaths circle and scale the hill, and 1,500 linear feet of boardwalk takes you through strategically placed viewing platforms over the water. You can also learn about the area, spend some time fishing, or observe the incredible bird and wildlife species. Leffis Key Preserve is sure to be a location that gets the whole family talking!

Neal Preserve

At Neal Preserve, you get stunning nature mixed in with fascinating history. You can explore reconstructed burial mounds from when the area was inhabited by Native Americans from the 3000 BC to 1400 AD. While you won’t be able to bring your pet along the trail, you and the rest of your family will love hiking the trails through the coastal habitats like mangrove forests and salt terns.

Neal Preserve has a half-mile shell and boardwalk trail where you can take your time strolling along and finding a unique souvenir to take home with you. This trail is incredibly peaceful, allowing you to check out the nesting birds in the trees and simply connect with the nature around you. You can visit Neal Preserve in nearby Bradenton any day of the week, making it easy to fit into your itinerary.

Perico Preserve

Perico Preserve is the first of its kind to be completely conceptualized as a bird sanctuary. Originally, this area was farmland, but today, you’ll find a breathtaking mix of habitats like coastal wetlands, scrub hills, and upland areas. If you are a bird lover, this is one spot that you simply can’t miss out on! (Don’t forget your camera!)

White bird

While visitors are encouraged to hike the trails, be aware of restrictions if you plan to bike. Some trails are specifically designated for bikes, but on others, they preserve staff requests that you travel forth on foot. This practice helps to ensure that the native birds and wildlife in the area have the best chance of maintaining their natural behavior and breeding and rearing their young.

These are just a few of the beautiful hiking opportunities you’ll have in and around Anna Maria Island. Whether you have been an avid hiker for years or you are new to the activity, you’ll find a trail that’s just right for your interests and skill level. While you’re packing for vacation, be sure to include a good pair of binoculars and a sturdy set of shoes so that you can take on these trails yourself!

One of the best parts about each of these trails is their close proximity to our Anna Maria Island vacation homes. We are proud to offer vacation rentals that suit any and every group, and if you’re not sure where to start looking, our dedicated staff is happy to help. Contact us today to learn more about our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals!