The Legacy Trail is a paved bike trail that goes from Sarasota to Venice, Florida, USA. There are multiple access points along the trail allowing you to bike or walk as much or as little as you might like. We joined the trail at the Bahia Vista access point and rode to the Venice Train Depot end point and back for a total of just under 54 km (including getting to and from the bike rental place). This trail is a former rail line and it is a very straight, flat, easy path for riding. Very different than biking in Switzerland. We enjoyed our ride very much and think it is a great thing to do if you happen to be in the area.Detail Summary
|Legacy Bike Trail
Sarasota to Venice , Florida, USA
|See Friends of the Legacy Trail – Trail Head Parking and Access Points
|Legacy Trail Brochure
|There are multiple access points along the trail where you can stop and start. We joined the trail at the Bahia Vista access point and rode to the Venice Train Depot end point and back.
Easy – About 4 hrs
Length 52 km , Ascent 40 m, Descent 40 m (2 m, not including going over the highway overpass bridges.) Plus an additional 2 km getting to and from the bike rental shop.
|Free, excluding bike rental
Renting Bikes and Getting To the Trail
We rented our bikes from Lapp’s Bike Rental. They were very nice people, but I can’t recommend them as they didn’t rent helmets with the bikes. In addition, the bikes were basic grandma bikes and not in great shape. They were, however, very close to where we were staying and so we rented from them and rode without helmets. If it were anything other than a flat, slow trail I might not have done so but it turned out ok. There are a lot of other bike rental places, so I would recommend trying another place. See Friends of the Legacy Trail Bike Rental List for ideas.
After getting our bikes, we rode the short way down the street to the trail access point.
We joined the trail at the Bahia Vista access point and headed south. As I mentioned above, the trail is paved, straight, and very flat. It was fun to just casually zip along in the warm Florida February weather.
If the palm trees and swamp land didn’t make it clear that we were in Florida, the “Caution Alligator Habitat” signs sure did! We didn’t see any alligators on our ride, but we certainly kept an eye out for them.
Towards the end of the ride, we crossed over a beautiful bay. So pretty!
At the end point of the trail was the Historic Venice Train Depot and Legacy Park. There were a couple of circus trains cars on display here and a bus stop. We took a break and had lunch at a pretty decent nearby clown-themed diner called Patches, that was short walk away. There is a lot of circus stuff in this area because the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus wintered in Venice, Florida between 1960 and 1992.
After lunch, we got on our bikes and rode the trail back to where we started. After we returned our bikes, we picked up a chocolate peanut butter pie and some sticky buns at Yoder’s Deli Market. Both were very very tasty. A great ending to our bike ride!