Rye Wilderness Park
"Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints."
This page is dedicated to our Manatee County Park Rangers. The many hours, for they are there to assist in every word.
Experience a slice of old Florida at the Rye Preserve. You don't have to travel far, the Rye Preserve is closer than you think.
Rye Preserve is a 145 acre property located just northwest of the Lake Manatee Dam. The preserve features nature trails, horseback trails, picnic areas, a playground and a canoe/kayak launch.
The preserve's trail system leads visitors through four distinctive ecosystems, including sand pine scrub, xeric oak scrub, oak hammocks and the river community. A variety of interesting creatures can be seen in these areas including the rare gopher tortoise and Florida scrub-jay.
Rye Preserve is home to a piece of Manatee County's early pioneer history. Within the preserve visitors can view the Rye Family Cemetery, the last remaining reminder of the old Rye river community.
Accessibility: There is a trail around the picnic pavilion made of packed dirt or shell. The remaining trails are dirt and may not be accessible depending on the environmental conditions. Be aware: Any area not on a designated trail may have a very soft surface.
CANOEING OR KAYAKING: The launch has moved to a new location on the red Trail. Start at the parking area and follow the trail down the steps to the water's edge. The launch site provides access to the Manatee River.
Canoes and kayaks are not provided at the park. Visit Ray's Canoe Hideaway or call (941) 747-3909 to reserve a canoe or kayak.
PICNICKING: Available at the picnic shelter and at various sites throughout the preserve on a first-come-first-serve basis.
PICNIC PAVILION: Available by reservation or on a first-come-first-serve basis.
For reservations, call 941-748-4501 ext. 1807.
PLAYGROUND: Playground and picnic tables are located next to the Rangers Station.
WILDLIFE VIEWING: A variety of birds and wildlife can be seen throughout the preserve in a variety of native ecosystems. Remember: All plants, animals, and historical artifacts in the preserve are protected from harassment, damage, or removal.
HIKING: Available on all trails.
FISHING: Available from the shoreline along the Manatee River. Please be kind to the vegetation when fishing from shore within the preserve. NOTE: Fishing is subject to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulations.
BICYCLING: Allowed on designated biking trails only.
HORSEBACK RIDING: Allowed on designated riding trails. Horses are not provided. Proof of a negative Coggins Test must be available upon request for each horse. Designated horse staging area is provided.