Rye Preserve

Image Rye Preserve

Experience a slice of old Florida at the Rye Preserve. You don't have to travel far, Rye Preserve is closer than you think. This 145 acre property located just northwest of the Lake Manatee Dam. The preserve features nature trails, horseback trails, picnic areas, a playground and a canoe/kayak launch.

The preserve's trail system leads visitors through four distinctive ecosystems, including sand pine scrub, xeric oak scrub, oak hammocks and the river community. A variety of interesting creatures can be seen in these areas including the rare gopher tortoise and Florida scrub-jay.

Rye Preserve is home to a piece of Manatee County's early pioneer history. Within the preserve visitors can view the Rye Family Cemetery, the last remaining reminder of the old Rye river community.

Rye Nature Center


The Rye Preserve Nature Center opened January 9, 2016. This newly established educational resource in eastern Manatee County was created to help tell the story of Manatee County’s uplands ecosystems, and the unique creatures that call them home, introducing the unique facets of these habitats types including scrub and longleaf and slash pine forests. Inside the facility, visitors will find eight hands-on exhibits. Adults and children alike can climb inside the nest of a scrub jay, touch real fossils dating back millions of years, and discover what Rangers encounter while working a prescribed fire. Visitors can travel back in time to discover the Town of Rye and its residents, learning about the once bustling pioneer village found in the north eastern section of the preserve. Each of these elements combines to tell the story of the preserve.


The facility is free and open to the public on the first and third Saturday of every month from 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm. Please visit join us on one of our regularly-scheduled openings or contact us at (941) 748-4501 ext. 6039 to schedule a group visit.


Things to Do

Canoeing on the Manatee River
Canoeing on the Manatee River

The development and implementation elements of recreation programs appropriate for the Rye Preserve property were determined by requesting input from area conservation groups, including information from the Manatee County Parks and Recreation Department, the Florida Division of Historic Resources, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Land and Water Conservation Fund Program, and the Manatee River Archers Club.  Input was analyzed by the Board-appointed citizens of the Environmental Lands Management and Acquisition Advisory Committee, coordinated by staff liaisons from the various County departments.  The recreation programs were presented to the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners and approved through a detailed management plan. 


Rye Preserve’s recreation plan, which combines all recreational uses on the property, includes the following elements:

  • Hiking and nature trails
  • Kayak/canoeing trails and launch
  • Environmental education
  • Non-motorized bicycle trails
  • Rollerblading
  • Managed fishing
  • Picnic areas and pavilions
  • Wildlife viewing areas
  • Horseback riding 
  • Camping

Hiking:  Available on all trails.


Accessibility: There is a trail around the picnic pavilion made of packed dirt or shell.  The remaining trails are dirt and may not be accessible depending on the environmental conditions.  Be aware: Any area not on a designated trail may have a very soft surface.


Kayak/Canoeing: The launch has moved to a new location on the red Trail.  Start at the parking area and follow the trail down the steps to the water's edge.  The launch site provides access to the Manatee River.


Bicycling:  Available on designated  trails only. 


Fishing:  Available from the shoreline along the Manatee River.  Please be kind to the vegetation when fishing from shore within the preserve.  NOTE: Fishing is subject to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulations


Picnicking:  Available at the various sites throughout the preserve on a first-come-first-serve basis. 


Picnic Pavilion: The pavilion is available by reservation or on a first-come-first-serve basis.  You can reserve a pavilion online or by calling 941-742-5923.


Wildlife Viewing:  A variety of birds and wildlife can be seen throughout the preserve in the restored native ecosystems.


Camping:  Available on a first-come-first-serve basis.  Camping fees are $20.00, per night per site plus tax. Camping registration is at the Rangers Station from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Checkout time is 2:00 p.m. Check or cash only. No credit/debit cards.


Getting There

Rye Address:                     Map
905 Rye Wilderness Trail
Parrish, FL 34219

Driving Directions:

  • From I-75:  Take I-75 to the SR 64 (Manatee Avenue) east exit. Continue on SR 64 to Rye Road. Turn left onto Rye Road and continue north. After crossing the Rye Bridge, make an immediate right and drive into Rye Preserve.
  • From Parrish:  Take 301 east to Rye Road. Turn right onto Rye Road and go south to Rye Wilderness Trail. Make a left into the preserve. This turn will be right before the bridge.

Contact Information

Open Daily 8:00 a.m. to sunset
Ranger Station Hours

Friday 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Saturday 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Phone: (941) 776-0900