Venetian Waterway Park


28 Reviews

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Venetian Waterway Park Facts

States: Florida
Counties: Sarasota
Length: 8.6 miles
Trail end points: Intracoastal Waterway (both north & south sides) and north of E Venice Ave (both east & west sides)
Trail surfaces: Concrete, Grass
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6032370

Venetian Waterway Park Description

The Venetian Waterway Park Trail follows along both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway, from the ocean north and somewhat east, past the Venice Airport to north of Venice Avenue. It is flat and often windy, passing through a mix of urban corridor and open green space. Colorful murals, covered rest and picnic areas, and interpretive signs dot the way. You will also find playgrounds, fitness stops, and parks.

At the northern end of the trail, you can link directly with the Legacy Trail and continue toward Sarasota.

Parking and Trail Access

The Sarasota County Transit system (SCAT) provides access to the trail via bus. Visit the SCAT website to plan your trip.

For those driving, parking is available at a number of locations along the trail. View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.

Venetian Waterway Park Reviews

beautiful waterway

Fun, easy ride along waterway. Last time we visited we saw a manatee. This trail also connects to the Legacy trail to create a long ride. Well used trail.

First time? Here's How To Do It

You don't have to cross any bridges. Put this address in for directions:
257 Tamiami Trail North Venice, FL 34285

You will park in the shade under the overpass. This is the trailhead. Proceed on the sidewalk/trail that parallels the water. You will pass Venice High School, then cross some minor streets before turning left to rejoin the view of the water. You will eventually ride behind the Buick dealership on a wooden path. Turn left onto the concrete sidewalk that runs along US 41. Pass the car dealer, boat dealer and go under the bridge. You will see the airport, and eventually the end of the trail where there are restrooms and shade. Walk over to Caspersen Beach and ponder why you didn't do this great trail earlier.

Go back to where you started. You will pass places to grab a bit if you're hungry. Enjoy!

First ride in Florida

It's a good warm-up for the Legacy Trail, as well as adding 12 miles to the round trip of the link-up of both.


This trail is amazing - u can bike for miles and never have to cross a busy highway.


Perhaps I didn't go the right direction on this Trail but I walked it and it was all concrete. There is almost no shade in this is back in August so I was miserable on the white pavement.

Perhaps I didn't go the right direction on this Trail but I walked it and it was all concrete. There is almost no shade in this is back in August so I was miserable on the white pavement.

confusing but fun

We managed to ride both sides of the canal despite the confusing directions. Be aware you will have to cross bridges - a local told us the best bridge to cross was 41 drawbridge which we did the first pass. We crossed the bridge by the Train Depot on our way back and had to walk our bikes across. Unfortunately the canal had quite a few dead fish which we attributed to the red tide. We saw plenty of bunnies and gopher tortoises. The trail itself was mostly poured concrete but not too jarring. We will definitely do this one again - preferably in cooler weather!

well kept trail

Nice views of the waterway. Ride on both sides for a change of perspective. Add to the Legacy for a nice long local ride

Nice change of view along the water.

A nice change, riding along the canal watching boats cruise by and planes take off from the airport. The concrete trail passes 3 parks on the east side. We parked at the Patriots park, which is actually on the Legacy Trail and rode the pedestrian bridge over Tamiami highway towards the train Depot. There the waterway park begins.

Nice Trail - Do Again

We loved that we were by the waterway the whole time. We opted to start at the Historic Train Depot and then cross over the S. Tamiami Trail drawbridge to go on the West side of the trail so we could cut over to Caspersen Beach at the end of the trail. Nice 8.5 miles down and back. We did it on longboards. Were we prefer smooth asphalt trails or at least longer sections of concrete before each crack... this was not a deal breaker and will be a do again. (Explanation: The sidewalk had small sections of concrete, separated by cracks vs larger sections of concrete before the crack. The cracks were slightly larger than other trails we've been on so it made for a little bumpier ride - again we are on longboards, bikes probably would not feel the difference.)

Love it!

I live on the Venetian Waterway Trail. This is a really nice trail. I've seen Eagles, Dolphins, Manatee, Tortoise and lots of birds. Caspearson beach is at the south end. This trail also connects to the legacy trail that goes from Shamrock park in Venice to Palmer ranch in Sarasota 25 miles round trip.

Venetian Waterway

The trails are easy to follow and wide open. If you enjoy hills and valleys this isn’t for you. That being said they are great for flat out riding. Enjoy the scenery and possible wild life sightings.

Not My Favorite

I rode this trail multiple times during March, and decided that I am not so much of a fan. The trail is wide open next to the waterway, which gives some cool views of boats passing by, but the concrete pavement seams provide a nearly constant pounding in your hands and arms as you are riding. The trail winds south along the waterway from the Venice Depot, and easily connects to the Legacy Trail which is a MUCH better my opinion.

Lovely level trail

We are novice bikers and thoroughly enjoy the fact that we don’t have to interact with traffic. Plenty of benches to take a break. Rest rooms also available. You will be surrounded by nature. Great place to meet interesting people.

Venice trail

Started from the train depot. Avaiable restrooms always a plus. Nice level concrete trail on the east side, but like previous reviews, completely open so maybe not so good on hot days. However, after crossing the bridge to the west side, there are no signs as to how to get on and follow the trail to Casperen beach. Also, be nice if the map showed the location of the bridge.

Cruising the waterway!

This is a nice paved trail that allows you to pedal (or walk) along part of the intercoastal. Seems odd to pedal and wave at passing boats, but there you go.

1) Saturday mornings there's a street market near Michael Biehl park where you can take your wife to buy produce, plants, or whatever makes her happy. They close about noon I think.
2) The trail goes under a few overpasses, giving you some shelter if you get caught in a drizzle/rain event.
3) You almost certainly will see small planes (today a Lear jet) take off and land at the adjacent airport.
4) The trail ends at the beach if you want to take a dip before going back.
5) No hills- easy-peasy trail.


The best Trail in South West Coastal Florida. The Complete round trip from Shamrock park is 30 miles. There are few road crossings so it is indeed safe for bicycles. If you ride on the roads in coastal Florida you are literally risking your lives. Route 41 has a small bike lane and it's too dangerous. Sad thing is that after 10 round trips it can be boring. The next good trail is a long drive away from here.

Nice, peaceful ride along the intercoastal

This is a nice, peaceful ride along the intercoastal waterway. The surface is paved throughout the length of the trail. As someone else mentioned, parts of the trail will be in the sun depending on what time you ride. If you ride early in the morning or late in the day (around sunset) I find that most of the year the temperature is OK. This is Florida so riding at 3 in the afternoon in July is going to be a bit um, warm.

If you ride the entire trail out and back you can cover about 40 miles. A nice short ride is to start at Caspersen Beach, cross the Circus Bridge and go south on the east trail to Shamrock Park, returning to Caspersen Beach. That is a quick 10 mile ride (or thereabouts).

Don't neglect at least a quick visit to the beach. You might even want to bring a "Venice Snow Shovel" and search for shark's teeth!

Beautiful Ride in Beautiful Venice

Such a beautiful peaceful ride with a view. I wouldn't recommend it in the full summer months as there isn't much shade. Such friendly people on the trail too!

Beautiful trail!

Our winter home is across from Shamrock Park in South Venice which is one end of the trail. We can hop on anytime to a wide open paved trail. At the 2.4 point is the Circus Bridge. Crossing it and heading south on the west side of the trail will bring you to Caspersons Beach. Riding along the Intracoastal Waterway all the way is a feast for the eyes. We've seen an occasional dolphin, manatee and a number of box turtles as well as fish jumping and osprey, an occasional eagle and Florida vultures. We ride this trail many days of the week. Plenty of parking in Shamrock Park or at Caspersons Beach.

Staying on the east side of the Intracoastal, you can ride under the Circus Bridge, a second bridge and on to the start of the Legacy Trail. Many choices. Great ride.


I start and end in Venice so that I can treat myself to Ciao Gelato...and I need it! I have only ridden this trail in the summer. If you are not finished by 11 AM it is blisteringly hot. However I am REALLY looking forward to riding in the upcoming cooler months. The surface is great. Natural beauty abounds. On my last ride I saw a bobcat AND Roseate Spoonbill (juvenile). I

Venetian Waterway trail

Started riding bikes again with wife. We live right by the Cape Haze Pioneer Trail which we have done several times and wanted to try something new. I have to admit I was a little surprised at how short it was. We started off at the Ringling bridge heading south from there. It was a nice ride just not long enough. Having our twelve year old with us and being tired kept us from exploring further.

Nice trail...very well kept up.

The sections of the trail that are right along the waterway are smooth and wide..very nice!
The route on the island side that jogs around the marinas and such are not signed at all. This prob works fine for locals, but visitors have no idea where to go. The bike route map is not much help. We made it to Casperon Beach from the north side to find no route to the waterway. Only after asking several walkers did we find the unmarked trail to the waterway.
Need SIGNS or Markings!!

lack of signs

This was a nice trail until I came to a dead end at concrete picnic table where a guy was poring over maps trying to figure out where he was & how to continue on. There were no signs, just some fish painted on the trail? Odd, indeed.

My goal was to get to a beach but I found myself twisted around & heading back north before I knew it. There were some cross over points at bridges (I guess) but they weren't marked. Nice that so much has been invested in this short trail but how about taking it one step further & putting up clear signs. Not everybody is a local. Very disappointing ... unlikely I'll return.

Great Trail

great trail for running, walking or biking, nice scenery also

Legacy Trail

As an update, the Legacy Trail's bridge over US Route 41, Tamiami Trail, in Venice has been completed and is now open for business. For Florida bikers used to flatlands everywhere, the ramp to the new bridge has a moderate grade but the average rider should be able to conquer it without much difficulty, especially if your bike has a couple gears. The great part about the new bridge, however, is that it now connects the Legacy Trail to the Venetian Waterway Park trail. This makes the combined total for both trails now about 15 miles one way. As a bonus, the Venetian trail's southern end terminates at Caspersen Beach which is a magnificent blue-water Gulf of Mexico rest stop. It's a great place to down a sandwich and some water before heading north again. All in all, both trails are excellent! The views are pleasant and enjoyable. The ride is safe. And terminus and inbetween parking is adequate to good. Check it out. A Florida Rail-Trail at its best!

Nice surface to ride on

This is a very nice trail. It is a concrete trail, basically a double wide sidewalk. I like to start from Shamrock Park, since there is plenty of parking. You can fish virtually at any point. It can be very windy (sometimes it feels like you are going uphill both ways even though it is flat), so be prepared for a good workout. Bring plenty of water, because there aren't many places to fill up except for Shamrock Park. You could also stray from the trail at 41/Circus Bridge to get refreshments, but other than that, you are on your own.

Legacy Trail

The Venetian Waterway Trail is on both sides of the waterway, but the only connection point is across the Circus Bridge (or the dangereous Venice Ave. bridge). The trail ends just north of the Venice Ave. bridge, at the Venice Train Station and connects to the Lagacy (Rail) Trail. It is 10 1/2 miles long and is beautiful but still has three breaks in it. The first is a small creek just beyond the Depot. The trail also will cross two bays, on it's way north. From Laurel Road north, the trail is unbroken to it's end point (no road access) about 3/4 mile south of Clark Road. There are probably about 6 unbroken miles on the trail's north end. The grand opening (even though the trail still has 3 breaks) was March 28, though the contractor may not be completely done. The three bridges needed, will require 5 million dollars in the future. The former railroad crossing gates and lights, are now positioned across the trail, as beautiful historical artifacts and the shelters that the county has built along the trail are beautiful with tile roofs, like south Florida houses. This trail needs a seperate listing on the Rail-Trail list, as it carries a seperate name.

Nice ride

We rode the trail starting just behind the Chamber of Commerce. We were told not to worry about where we parked as it is a 'safe' community. It seemed to be so. We rode South about 5 miles into a stiff wind and then to a beach from the trail....still off road and paved. We found people finding shark's teeth. We didn't find any but had a nice beach walk. Then we rode back to the bridge that would take us across to the other side. We rode south again and again into the wind, then we rode back north on that side of the waterway. We would add that we enjoyed the ride north with the stiff wind at our backs. Then we crossed over a "walk your bike" bridge and then headed back to where we parked. As soon as we got away from the waterway it was not so windy. Check the wind as you want to ride INTO the wind at the start and not the end of a ride. It was a nice ride, some of it nicer than other parts and much had no homes or businesses. We thank this community for the nice job.

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