This walk is the most popular short trail in Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, one of SW FL's largest state parks. It may be because it’s easy to find, is family-friendly, and has a well-defined footpath or because of the Canopy Walk itself.
Before the state went nuts w/ziplines & canopy walks in nature attractions, this was the real deal, the 1st walk in Florida: modeled after ones used by scientists in S. American rainforests. It provides both an intimate look at the live oak canopy and a panorama of the Myakka River basin's two shallow lakes which host a myriad of wetland creatures
A Heart in the Forest Guides the Way
This hike actually involves two trails; they create a short interpretive loop: original William S. Boylston Nature Trl & newer Canopy Walk Trail built to access the Canopy Walk. Most people only walk up to this attraction instead of doing the full loop.
Here's what you need to do: from the parking area, turn to the right to walk through a hammock of large oaks and cabbage palms, the understory very open so you can see a willow marsh on the right as well as a pop ash marsh on the left. Walking through another slightly open understory spot at a half mile you spy a heart in the forest: on the right, the limbs of a live oak come together to create a heart-shaped keyhole.
Almost immediately ahead you see the staircase for the Canopy Walk. Brochures are @ tower base. Directions: I-75 exit 205, 9 miles E. on SR 72 to park entrance on left side.