The Myakka Canopy Walkway provides easy access to observe life in the treetops of an oak/palm hammock. As an outdoor laboratory for research and education, it is a place for discovery and provides an opportunity for visitors to see canopy inhabitants up close.
Completed in 2000, this structure is the first public treetop trail in North America.
The walkway is suspended 25 feet above the ground and extends 100 feet through the hammock canopy. The taller tower soars 74 feet in the air to present a spectacular view of treetops, wetlands and the prairie/hammock interface. You can look down on eagles, hawks, vultures, and the tops of Live Oak and Sabal Palm trees.
metamasius callizonaMetamasius callizona, the exotic weevil, pictured above. Picture from the University of Florida Department of Entomology and Nematology.
The walkway proved its practical value with an alarming discovery within months of its opening. An exotic weevil from Central America (accidentally released in Ft. Lauderdale around 1990) had arrived in Southwest Florida. Wherever the weevil invades, it decimates airplants. Local students are working with TREE Foundation researchers to monitor the weevils and airplants.
The Myakka Walkway was the inspiration of canopy scientist Dr. Margaret D. Lowman, Executive Director of TREE Foundation. It is the result of a unique partnership among the Florida Park Service, Friends of Myakka River, TREE Foundation, and other local sponsors.