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Little Mantee River State Recreation Area is loacted four miles south of Sun City, off U.S. 301 on Lightfoot Road.

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Named for the river that flows through it, Little Manatee River State Recreation Area was acquired in 1974 to provide outdoor recreational opportunities in the Tampa Bay area. Since it opened in 1987, the river has been designated as an Outstanding Florida Water and is included in the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve.

The recreation area comprises 2433 acres on U.S. 301 along the Little Manatee River. Beginning in a swampy area east of Fort Lonesome in southeastern Hillsborough County, the river flows about 40 miles before emptying into Tampa Bay. The river's channel is generally well-defined and steep, sandy banks are observed throughout its length. In its lower reaches, which include the portion that flows five miles through the park, Little Manatee river rises and falls with the tide.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at Little Manatee River State Recreation Area. Camping is available at one of 34 sites, complete with electric and water hook-ups, set within a pristine sand pine scrub. Picnic tables and shelters are available in the picnic area along the river. Visitors can explore the river by canoe and observe the area's scenic beauty and wildlife. Canoeists must furnish their own canoes. Freshwater fishing opportunities include bass, bream and catfish. A Florida freshwater fishing license is required for persons 16 years of age or older.

Several miles of trails are open for horseback riding. Riders must furnish their own horses and confine riding to designated, established trails. Proof of a recent negative Coggins test is required. Horse camping sites are available.

A 6.5 mile hiking trail that meanders through a diversity of habitats is available in the park's northern wilderness area. A primitive camp, located along the trail, is available by reservation only. All hikers must register at the park's ranger station.

Some facilities and activities are accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information, write to:

Little Manatee River State Recreation Area

215 Lightfoot Road


Florida 33598

or call (813) 671-5005.

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