Open sunrise to sunset, Neal Preserve, is a 120-acre ecological gem that overlooks Sarasota Bay. Located on the south side of Manatee Avenue just a few minutes from Anna Maria Island, the preserve features passive outdoor recreation opportunities including a 20 foot tall observation tower, shell trails, and boardwalks that wind through the coastal environment.
Neal Preserve is a very historically significant site. As you walk, imagine the active Native American culture that once existed here. Your route will move past reconstructed burial mounds (the originals were excavated in the 1930’s by the Smithsonian) and real middens, or trash heaps, through an area inhabited from 3000 BC to 1400 AD. The white shells you see peeking through the leaf litter are artifacts from another time. Remember all of these are protected and collecting is not allowed in this “open air museum.”
Visit: 12301 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34209