Lake Manatee State Park extends along three miles of the south shore of Lake Manatee, our namesake, which serves as a water reservoir for Manatee and Sarasota counties. Despite the name of the lake and park, visitors cannot actually see manatees at this park because of the dam on the Manatee River. The rest of the park is primarily pine flatwoods and sand pine scrub with some depression marshes and hardwood forests. A boat ramp provides easy access to the lake; boat motors must be less than 20 horsepower. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities. The lake offers excellent freshwater fishing, and anglers can fish from their boats or from the park's fishing dock. Swimming is permitted in a designated area of Lake Manatee; a facility with showers is located nearby. A large picnic area is nestled in a sand pine scrub area near the lake. A picnic pavilion may be reserved for a fee. Campers can enjoy full-facility camping, just a short walk from the lake.