Riverview Pointe Preserve – Manatee County

Bradenton – Riverview Pointe Preserve is south of De Soto National Memorial park, and is just a short drive from Anna Maria Island. This 11 acre park in West Bradenton offers a unique Florida ecosystem along with packed shell trails and wildlife viewing.

Riverview Pointe Preserve
Gopher Tortoise at Riverview Pointe Preserve. Photo Credit: Rob Hamilton, Riverview Pointe Preserve, Manatee County Parks website.

Riverview Pointe Preserve

The Preserve was added to the “Shaws Point” Archaeological district by the 1939 United States De Soto Expedition Commission. This area is among what is believed to be the landing spot of the Hernando De Soto expedition of 1539. Riverview Pointe and surrounding areas are the site of prehistoric native coastal villages dating back to 356B.C. to 110A.D. However, all evidence of these natives was destroyed in the early twentieth century.

Hiking Trail and Florida Wildlife

The hiking trail here is less than a mile long, but offers a peaceful place for a relaxing stroll. Starting off in a dry sandy upland area, the trail takes you down through coastal hammock and out to the riverfront. A great deal of the local wildlife are nocturnal, but this trail is still a great area for bird watching. Unique animals of the park include a thriving Gopher Tortoise population. Additionally, they prefer upland habitats such as those found at Riverview Pointe Preserve.

Native Plants

The hiking trail brings you from uplands to riverfront, and there are a diverse array of plants here. Enjoy large old Sand Pine and Scrub Oak in the uplands area, and salt resistance species like Mangrove and Buttonwood on the river front. You’ll find many Florida native species of plants like beauty berry, wild grape and poison ivy. It’s a good idea to stay on the hiking path to avoid damaging this rare environment.

Park Information

Dogs are welcome on the trail, but must remain on a leash. The park has pet waste stations.

Entrance to the park is free with the hours changing seasonally. Typically Manatee County parks are open dawn to dusk, but be sure to check closing times listed at the park entrance.

Find the park at NW 75th Street. Just before the entrance to De Soto National Memorial.

Also check out this video about Riverview Pointe Preseve by Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department. Enjoy local wildlife too!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals

If you are looking to plan a vacation to Manatee County Island Real Estate has a large inventory of vacation rental homes for the perfect Florida getaway!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Click on the image to view more information about Anna Maria Island vacation rental home “3 Oars”

De Soto National Memorial – Bradenton

Bradenton – The De Soto National Memorial was created in 1948 to commemorate the 1539 expedition of Spanish conquistador Hernando De Soto. This memorial also reminds us of the impact he made on southeast American Indian societies. Open all year long, the Park offers many different outdoor activities. You’ll also find educational opportunities to learn about the controversial history of the area.

Map of De Soto Memorial
De Soto National Memorial Map

Canoe and Boat

The park is located in Bradenton on a 26 acre plot of land. This is where the Manatee River meets Tampa Bay. De Soto National Memorial offers fabulous kayak and canoeing along the 3000 feet of shoreline. Launch your kayak, canoe or paddle board from the northwest shore of the park. You could also leave from Riverview Point Preserve located just south of De Soto Memorial. Paddle north across the river to explore Emerson Point Nature preserve, or head west through shallow grass flats to Anna Maria Island. De Soto Memorial does not offer a boat launch, however, does offer a temporary anchorage area in the small cove east of De Soto Point.

De Soto National Memorial trails and beaches

The nature trails at De Soto Memorial offer different Florida ecosystems including Mangrove wetlands. Walking trails have signage explaining both the natural history of the area along with information about the 1539 expedition. Pets are welcome on the trails, however bicycles are not.

There are several areas for enjoying the beach at the Memorial with areas located west and south of De Soto Point. Beach goers are urged to swim with caution as there are no lifeguard stations. The beaches south of De Soto Point are more popular as they don’t experience the strong currents sometimes found on the western beaches.

A picnic shelter can be found near the parking lot on a first come first serve basis. Grills and alcohol are not permitted in the park or picnic area.

Seasonal Events

The Memorial offers seasonal events great for the entire family.

December through April the parks living history area “Camp Uzita” is open. The Camp is an example of a 16th century Native village. It’s complete with living history reenactments and educational information.

In the winter the park offers several special events including a Halloween themed event called “Desoween”. This is for adults and kids 7 years and older. In December luminaries light the trials for one night. Also, information is available describing how people from the 16th century celebrated the winter. February brings a music festival to the park. March offers a five centuries of history event. Additionally, April brings a live reenactment of the Landing of the De Soto expedition.

May through October the park offers Ranger led kayak tours. learn how early settlers utilized the bay and estuary along with an explanation of Florida’s unique ecological systems.

In June and July a kids Junior Ranger program is also available. This teaches kids 6-10 about the history, ecology and conservation of the park.

De Soto National Memorial
De Soto National Memorial. Photo Credit: De Soto National Memorial Facebook Page.

Park Information

The visitor center is open daily 9am-5pm, and the parking lot also closes at 5pm. However, the park is open dawn to dusk. Any cars left in the parking lot after 5pm will remain locked in the lot until the next morning. Cars are subject to ticketing. New Years day, Thanksgiving and Christmas the park closes. Entrance into the park is always free, but donations are welcome. Groups may visit the park registering ahead of time. For additional information about the park call 941-792-0458 or visit online.

De Soto National Memorial:
8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, Florida 34209

Bradenton vacation rentals.

If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental while visiting the area Island Real Estate has almost 300 homes to choose from!

vacation rental
Click on the image to view Bradenton vacation rental Perico Bay Club 1279 Edgewater Circle.


Annual Winter Luminary Walk at De Soto National Memorial

Enjoy an evening of live music and history at De Soto National Memorial Park for the 4th Annual Winter Luminary Walk at Desoto National Memorial Park.  De Soto National Memorial will have the trails lit with thousands of luminaries on Saturday December 15th from 6:30 – 8:30pm.  You can catch a free shuttle from King Middle School courtesy of Anna Maria Island Community Center.

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