What Do You Know About the Red Bug Slough Preserve?

You may be familiar with the most popular tourist activities on Siesta Key, but what about the surrounding area? Siesta Key is a short drive from mainland Sarasota, which has its share of outdoor activities worth experiencing. Taking day trips to nature preserves near Siesta Key is one of many things to do in the area. For anyone wanting to get off the regular tourist trail, the Red Bug Slough Preserve is one of the most convenient places to visit during your stay in a Siesta Key condo rental

water bird

What is the Red Bug Slough Preserve?

With the rise of sprawling, urban centers, it may feel increasingly rare to find an untouched piece of land anywhere near the city. However, even in urban Sarasota, the city has protected a 72-acre piece of land. It was purchased in 2000 and 2001 through the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program. The area is a real favorite to local residents, many of whom have spent their lives visiting the preserve on a regular basis. 

The Red Bug Slough Preserve represents a remnant piece of natural Florida. It includes miles of paved and unpaved walking/hiking trails, which pass through the oak hammock and pine flatwood habitats before leading to a scenic vista of Red Bug Slough.

The untouched portions of the reserve are the perfect places to explore for bird watchers. Here, you’ll find species such as Belted Kingfishers, Green Herons, Limpkins, and Wood Ducks. During the migration season, the area is well-known for fallouts of warblers, seeking safety from stormy weather in large flocks – an impressive sight even for those who are not professed birders.  

How do I get there?

The preserve is in the middle of Sarasota, just a 10-minute drive from Siesta Key. From the island, cross the main bridge onto Stickney Point Road. Turn left onto Swift Road, right onto Proctor Road, and take a final right to reach 5200 Beneva Road, the only car entrance to the preserve. There is limited parking available onsite. 

If you are walking or biking, the road entrance has walk-through access, and there are numerous other access points around the park. The reserve is open daily from 6 a.m. to sunset. 

nature trail

Who Can I Bring? 

The Red Bug Slough has a place for everyone. There is a fishing pier for anyone looking to throw a line. Benches, tables, and picnic facilities are available to anyone searching for an outdoor spot to share a meal. Afterwards, kids can spend all afternoon at the playground, which includes a slide and the equipment for an extended game of tag or hide-and-seek. The reserve includes phenomenal butterfly gardens, which adults and kids alike can explore. If you’re lucky enough, one might just land on you!

For those looking for some exercise, there are both developed and undeveloped trails. Shorter, paved paths may be easier for families with small children. Anyone with an adventurous spirit can explore the full length of the reserve. After heavy rainfall, however, some trails may be flooded. Other trails may be wet year-round where they cross creeks and ditches. Leashed pets are allowed on the trail and in public areas. The reserve is a great place to get your four-legged friend some exercise! 

Stay In Siesta Key

Can’t wait to visit the Red Bug Slough Preserve? Contact us today and find your perfect vacation rental for your stay!

Where to Stay 

After exploring the reserve, you can explore downtown Sarasota before heading back to the comfort of your Siesta Key vacation rental. We offer stylish, modern luxury condominiums. Book a tower or villa unit with full amenities, like heated pools, gym membership, and Gulf-front access. You will be conveniently located right at the heart of Siesta Key, as our properties are just a stone’s throw from Siesta Key beaches and the village. Spend your days exploring the natural beauty of Siesta Key and the surrounding area; rest assured, you’ll be treated with the best facilities to help you kick back and relax when you return home.


Our Location

Crystal Sands Condominiums
6300 Midnight Pass Road
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Toll-Free: 888-419-1446
Local: 941-349-7007

Fax: 941-346-1963

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