OUTDOORS: Fun things to do


Nature Walk: Myakke River State Park, Sarasota

The Manatee Sarasota Sierra Club is sponsoring a 4-6 mile nature walk starting at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 1. Wear sturdy shoes, bring water, sunscreen and a dish to share. There will be lunch afterwards near the river. Donation: $5. Space is limited. Reservations: 484-4113.

Friends of Myakka “Nature Adventure” Classes: Myakka River State Park, Sarasota

The friends of Myakka River State Park will kick off their sixth annual “Nature Adventure” series with new classes and the return of their most popular programs:

The Natural History of Myakka River State Park, a driving tour and nature walk will be 9- 11:30 a.m. Jan. 5. Tracking and Signs Left Behind, an exploration of animal tracks and scats will be 9 a.m.-noon Jan. 13. Participants must be 15 years old. Introduction to the Stars, a course in which participants and budding astronomers learn to use a sky chart and recognize stars and constellations, will be 7-9 p.m. Jan. 23. All classes will be led by Park Rangers and Friends of Myakka River all of whom are contributing their services and sharing their expertise in specific areas of nature and wildlife appreciation. Fees for classes range from $10-$80 and 100 percent of all funds collected will be contributed to the “Myakka Forever” Endowment Fund. Anyone singing up for three or more classes will automatically become a member of the Friends of Myakka River (a $25 value). The $5 per car park entrance fee will be waived for all Nature Adventure participants. Class sizes are limited. Reservations: 316-8139 or e-mail gallery@myakkariver.org.

Kayak trip: Myakka River State Park, Sarasota

Explore the wild and scenic Myakka River by kayak guided by John Sarkozy of the American Littoral Society 8:20-11:30 a.m. Jan. 6. All equipment will be provided. Cost: $20 members, $25 nonmembers. Information: 966-7308.

“Myakka Daze” Kayak trip: Myakka River State Park, Sarasota

Explore the wild and scenic Myakka River with John Sarkozy of the American Littoral Society on a full day kayak trip for intermediate peddlers Jan. 10. All equipment will be provided. Cost: $50 plus entrance fee to the park. Information: 966-7308.

Bird watching course and field trips: Community Room at Synovus Bank, 2520 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton

The Manatee County Audubon Society is taking reservations for a bird watching course consisting of four class sessions 6:30- 8:45 p.m. Jan. 19, 22, 26 and 29. The course includes two 7-hour field trips beginning at 7 a.m. Jan. 24 and 31. Fee: $35 members, $50 nonmembers. Reservations and information: Nancy Dean at 792-9235.


Napier’s Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary: 20010 East S.R. 64, Bradenton

Horseback riding is being offered by Napier’s Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary. No experience is necessary. Hours are by appointment. Donation: $25 per person. All proceeds going to house and feed the animals at the Sanctuary. Information: 750-8185 or visit www.NapierFamilyFarm.com.


Emerson Point Preserve Nature Tours: Emerson Point Preserve, Snead Island

Master Gardeners will conduct free tours at 9 a.m. on at least one Saturday and one Sunday each month. Tours are limited to 12 people and reservations must be made through the Master Gardener office. A portion of the tour is handicap accessible. The office is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Information: 722-4524.

Sarasota Bay Explorers: Mote Aquarium on City Island, Sarasota

Now offering a new eco-tour, Nature Safari, with in-depth looks into the ecosystems of southwest Florida. View bird nests and watch for creatures of the bay. Observe bottlenose dolphins, manatees and sea turtles up close. Cruises run daily at 11 a.m., 1:30 and 4 p.m. Regular tour rate is $26 adults, $22 children ages 4-12. Aquarium admission not included. Information: 388-4200.

Walk on the Wild Side Eco-Tours: 629 41st St., Sarasota

Guided canoeing, kayaking, hiking and wildlife viewing tours throughout west central Florida. Half-day, full-day, moonlight and overnight trips. All equipment and transportation is provided and instruction is available. Tours start at $30 per person and are available 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Information: 351-6500.


Manatee Segway Tours: Downtown Bradenton

Manatee Segway Tours takes visitors on a two-hour trip on the riverfront in downtown Bradenton. Snack and drink provided along with plenty of photo opportunities. The two-hour tour is $55 and includes training and helmets. For more information or to get on the waiting list, visit www.manateesegwaytours.com or call 224-8079.

Florida Ever-Glides: The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota

Segway Tours of downtown Sarasota and through St. Armands Circle are offered by Florida Ever-Glides Inc. A Segway, the world’s first and only self-balancing electric transport system, allows riders to go anywhere they can walk and easily navigates most areas, including paved surfaces, dirt roads, grass, and inclines. The three-hour guided tours are $85 a person and is limited to six riders to ensure an interactive and personalized experience. Tours are offered daily 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Ages 12-70-plus are welcome. Reservations are required. Information: 363-9556 or visit www.floridaever-glides.com.