Anna Maria Island visitors have another spectacular place to be active and see some of Manatee County Florida’s most beautiful wildlife! For the past four years, with the help of a generous donation by the Neal family, crews have been hard at work turning 120 acres just east of the Manatee Ave. bridge into an ecological gem that overlooks the Sarasota Bay.

Rich with history, this beautiful public asset was once home to Native Americans. With some of the characteristics remaining, a history lesson is just one of many things to enjoy when visiting Neal Preserve. Visitors can view the open waterway from the observation tower, walk through the salt marshes on elevated boardwalks, and hike through the mangrove forests on packed shell trails.

There is free parking and free entry to Neal Preserve. It is also easy to access by bike, with trails connecting to nearby Robinson Preserve.

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