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Reported: Nov. 2012

Venetian Waterway Park

Venetian Waterway Park is a linear park running on both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway at Venice, FL. From the start at the Venice Avenue bridge (near the link with the Legacy Trail and historic Venice Train Station), it runs to Caspersen Beach on the west side (5 miles) and to Shamrock Park and Nature Center (4 miles) on the east. To go from one side to the other, cross  at the Circus Bridge or at the Venice Avenue bridge. There is little shade, but benches and picnic tables provide a break. There are no road crossings along the Waterway Park, the trail goes under the bridges that cross the Intracoastal Waterway. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Venice Legacy Trail

End Points: Legacy Park to Caspersen Beach and Shamrock Park
Mileage: 10 miles, plus 11 miles continuing on the Legacy Trail
Surface: Concrete, 8 feet
Location: Sarasota County
Trailheads: Shamrock Park,  Caspersen Beach, VABI Trailhead, Skip Stasko Park,  Legacy Park. (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Old Venice Train Depot, former Ringling Winter Headquarters, Oscar Scherer State Park, Circus Museums at Ringling Museum (Sarasota)


This is a popular multi-use trail used by bikers, runners, walkers, and skaters. Runs past Venice Municipal Airport and Venice High School. North of the Circus Bridge is more commercial with access to restaurants, museums, shops. The downside is the lack of shade.

East - Shamrock Park to Venice Train Depot

Shamrock Park and Nature Center has parking, water, restrooms, playground, picnic pavilions, playing fields, walking and biking trails, butterfly garden, and environmental programs. The trail along the waterway runs about four miles to the train depot, with several small parks and parking areas along the way. Connect to the Legacy Trail at the train depot, continue another 11 miles.

West - Caspersen Beach to Circus Bridge

From the beach, the trail runs along the waterway and past the airport. Caspersen Beach, between the Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal Waterway, is popular for shelling and finding prehistoric shark teeth. This is one of the most natural beaches in Florida, 2/3 left in its natural state. The beach park has parking, a boardwalk, dune walkovers, picnicking, playground, nature trails, canoe/kayak launch, fishing.

Caspersen Beach

Casperson Beach to Circus Bridge

Circus Bridge to West Trailhead

Ramps and access roads at each end lead from the trail to the bridge, linking the two sides of the Waterway Park. A nice wide, elevated sidewalk on both sides. Downtown Venice and Venice Beach lie to the west along this section. In a couple of places, the Waterway Park leaves the waterway to go around private properties. The trail ends at the Venice Area Beautification (VABI) headquarters - a civic organization sponsoring the trail.

Circus Bridge

Circus Bridge to West Trailhead

More information on Venetian Waterway Park

- Sarasota County Government - Venetian Waterway Park

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