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Walking Club: Exploring ‘Deep Hole’ at Myakka River State Park

Deep hole
Posted at 4:34 PM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2021-02-22 18:18:06-05

Many of us are looking for ways to be active while also staying a safe distance away from others. That's why Sarah Phinney started a ‘Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails and parks across the Tampa Bay.

If you’re looking to kick off 2021 with an adventurous hike, consider trekking to Deep Hole at Myakka River State Park. Be warned, you’ll likely need to wake up early to score a permit. Only a certain number of people are allowed to visit this area every day.

What is it?

“Deep Hole” is the nickname for a 131-foot deep sinkhole found in Myakka River State Park’s Wilderness Preserve, which is south of SR 72.

It’s a great place to take in wildlife, and is a popular spot to see alligators.

How can I go?

Set your alarm! Only 30 people per day are allowed to hike or paddle the preserve. You must get a permit from the Ranger Station. It opens at 8 am, but be sure to arrive before then, especially on weekends. Permits are only available for the current day and need to be returned by the end of the day.

Put this address in your phone:

13208 State Road 72
Sarasota, FL

What should I bring?

The hike to Deep Hole (one way) is just over two miles. You’ll walk through the Florida Dry Prairie before getting there. Expect to be in the sun pretty much the entire time, so wear a hat and pack sunscreen. Also, bring water!

Dogs and bicycles are not allowed.

Other advice from Sarah

Call the Ranger Station the day before you plan to visit to check the condition of the trail and to make sure Deep Hole is visible.

The Ranger Station number is: 941-361-6511

This hike is not for faint of heart! It’s about 5 miles total to and from Deep Hole. That doesn’t include the amount of time you’ll spend standing there taking in the sights!

Go with a buddy and be sure bring binoculars (or a camera with a high-power lens) so you can see the alligators sunning on the banks.

If for some reason you don’t get there in time for a permit, stick around Myakka River State Park. There’s plenty to do, including the popular Canopy Walk!

Get involved in Walking Club!

Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming #WalkingClub stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!

You can also keep up with Sarah on Instagram and Twitter.