Carlton Reserve is on ABC7 WWSB

Discovering the Suncoast

with Mike Modrick


Click image to view



The Carlton segment is about 9 minutes into the broadcast and covers the law enforcement search, Hurricane damage, flooding, the Memorial Day 2021 wildfire and Fire Fest 2023





Crested Caracara

Photo by Jim Bencivenga



Shed replacement


after 2021 Memorial Day wildfire 

Recent Trail Camera images from before Hurricane Ian

Mesic hammock (central Carton Reserve)

 Pine flatwoods (north Carlton Reserve)

Turkey Flock filmed by Harvey Thomas, Feb 2023--turn sound up


FAMILY BIKE RIDES at the Carlton Reserve - 2023
Dates: Third Sundays - Mar. 19th, Apr. 16th, May 21st
Times: 10:00 a.m. start. Duration: 1-2 hours, depending on the group.
Ages: Must be able to ride an Off Road bicycle. Children MUST be accompanied by parent(s)/legal guardian(s). 
Pre-registration is required. Limit 10 participants. 
Wear: Clothing applicable to riding a bicycle on bumpy trails through the woods, close-toed shoes.
Bring: Bicycle suitable for riding off the road - wide tires (Mountain bikes preferred, but not required), extra water, hat (for during breaks), sunscreen, insect repellant, HELMET (Required for ALL participants), padded bike gloves and binoculars (optional), snacks/lunch (optional, but encouraged).
Sponsored by Sarasota County. Join Sarasota County Volunteers David Reynolds and Jonah Sklaroff (both expert Off Road Bicyclists) for an Off Road Wilderness Bicycle ride. Bring the kids and explore this beautiful Reserve together. Routes will vary depending on trail conditions and group participants' skill levels on the day of the ride. (Some trails may have unexpected wild hog damage.)
Please register by emailing Linda at - include your names/ages, Parent/Legal Guardian MUST accompany children, best phone number to text/call. She will confirm the date of your reservation and let you know where to meet.
Please register by texting Linda at (941) 704-3827 - leave a text message with your names/ages, Parent/Legal Guardian MUST accompany children, email and best phone number to return your call. She will confirm the date of your reservation and let you know where to meet.  
Questions (Non-Registration)? You can reach David at (941) 412-5575 or Jonah at (845) 399-9039 

NOTE: NEW DATES, time change and registration contact ADDED!!! 


This event is sponsored by Sarasota County.

Join Sarasota County volunteer, Jim Bencivenga, for a short quiet hike at the Carlton Reserve. We will travel slowly and quietly, stopping for photo-ops as we go, taking in what nature has to offer that day. While we enjoy the serenity of this wonderful wilderness, we'll teach you some of the basics of birding as well as give you some photography ideas. 

We will cover up to 2 miles of natural trails. Participants must be able to hike, unassisted, over uneven/rough/potentially slippery and/or wet, muddy terrain. 

Wear/bring long pants, long sleeves, backpack, hiking poles, insect repellant, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water, camera/smart phone, Binoculars (optional but highly recommended), hiking boots (or other suitable close-toed shoes with good traction, that may get wet/muddy).

Dates: Tuesdays, March 14,21,28, 2023

Time: 8:00 am. 

Duration: 2 - 3 hours.

Number of participants: This hike is for up to 4 adult participants. You must be over 18 years old for this program! with your name(s) and best phone number to return your call. He will call/text you back to confirm the date and let you know where to meet.

Please register by contacting Jim at - email with your name(s) and best phone number to call/text. He will email/text you back to confirm your spot(s) and the date and let you know where to meet. 

This is part of Carlton Reserve's "Take A Hike" program.


Recent Closure of Carlton Reserve 2/9/2023


USDA Feral Swine Eradication Report













FIRE FEST click on photo for video

Cub Crawl   1/21/2023






ABC7:  Mike Modrick interviews  Joyce Adams and Sherm Stratton

in the Carlton Reserve

Click here

Friends of the Carlton Summer of 2022 Update

A Day In the Life of a Slough

Carlton Reserve Monday, April 11, 2022

It's all good:
9 months after the Memorial Day wildfire set by lightning, wildflowers are springing up within sight of the cabin:

Spring in the Carlton Reserve

Swallow Tail Kites Return and Wildflowers Blooming Today

Photos by Art Smith



Despite closures due to COVID, wildfire, flooding, and a month-long manhunt, the Carlton Reserve's priceless serenity is a sanctuary, reminding us of nature's ability to renew itself and us.


Click on picture or here to view 4 minute video using trail cam captures.



Excellent video on Alligators

Sarasota County Play on FaceBook

 filmed in the Carlton Reserve


Amazing half hour video


captured by Jacob Klasinski documents not only the dynamic Carlton Reserve environment as it transitions from drought to flood, but also its rich biodiversity of wildlife and habitats: coyotes, owls, bobcats, alligators, herons, egrets, hogs, deer, otter, vultures, raccoons--even crayfish and fish! Click on video  

Resilience and Rejuvenation at The Carlton Reserve
Photos by Jean-Louis Dumaine on reopening day, one month after Memorial Day 2021 fire.



"Queen of the Marsh"

new trail camera video


alligator and other wildlife from the Carlton Reserve


by Jacob Klasinski



More great trail camera video


from the Carlton Reserve and Big Slough


by Jacob Klasinski

Click on photo



New trail camera video footage 


from Jacob Klasinski


Carlton Reserve Wildlife:

coyotes, deer, turkey, bobcat, feral hogs, etc.


Click here or on photo

"You are here" map kiosks (12) have been installed in the Carlton Reserve to assist trail users along 100 miles of trails crisscross 38 sq. miles.


12 UV resistant signs were designed by Debbie Blanco (retired 10/30/20), funded by Friends of the Carlton, printed by H&H Signs, and installed today by Russ Johnson and Art Smith.


Trail Camera Video

Friends of the Carlton Reserve


Trail camera team: Donna Day, Ernie Winn, Martin Siesta funded by Friends of the Carlton Reserve


Click on picture or here for video



Who knew?

The lowly palmetto (serenoa repens) may be as much as 10,000 years old!


Click here to read Florida Native Plant Society "Palmettos" issue 

See what's coming to a park near you soon. Preview of coming attractions:

Sarasota County Parks Master Plan (download)


T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, protects Sarasota County's water supply and habitat for wildlife. It does not permit pets. Pets are permitted elsewhere on leash in 71 parklands and off leash in 5 others. Click Here for list.

E.O. Wilson explains why parks and nature are really good for your brain: Washington Post

So when the Washington Post asked Wilson what he thought about the mechanism by which these environments relax, rejuvenate and restore people. His answer was simple but pretty sweeping at the same time.

“Instinctively, without understanding what’s happening, they know that in certain wild environments, they have come home.” 

Click here for latest additions to 

The Florida Field Journal

by Darryl Saffer

Darryl Saffer video news:

The Evil Weevil part 3 now airing on the Education Channel, You Tube

Wildlife Photography: second in a web series  on You Tube.

Notebook sketch of Oscar Scherer State Park: Florida Field Journal

"Not Long Ago," a FL Field Journal video is being screened Feb. 14, 2016 in Gainesville:    Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival: schedule



Darryl Saffer has given voice to one of our own-- Grandmother Oak located in the Carlton Reserve



Darryl Saffer video essay on MRSP

 Not Long Ago

Dr. Mary Jelks on Myakka River State Park

oral history project   Slideshow




Photo by Darryl Saffer: Hummingbird Clearwing


You never know what's waiting for you in the forest. . .Check this out


Carlton Reserve featured in Harbor Style magazine: Seeking Serenity p. 78-88

 (Excellent article overall but here are some corrections/clarifications)


Need a natural escape vacation? check out Florida's Coastal Dune Lakes


Teaching Cats To Dog Paddle? or Crossing the Caloosahatchee 


     We are a 501(C)3 community support organization whose mission is to support the parks and natural lands of Sarasota County, Florida.

      With 24,565 acres  on the state protected "wild and scenic" Myakka River, the Carlton Reserve has over 90 miles of trails and nearly 40 square miles for wilderness recreation:



  • hiking
  • biking
  • paddling
  • horseback riding
  • reserved camping on a limited basis at designated sites.

The Carlton Reserve is wilderness habitat/environmentally sensitive land:  

No pets     No hunting 

Ordinances, Resolutions and State Laws Protecting the Carlton


Economic Benefits of Wilderness: US Fish&Wildlife Service

     $4.87 economic benefit for each tax dollar spent on wilderness Click here 

     75% from passive recreation: hiking, biking, picnicking Click here

Global Forest Change Map: zoom in to view Florida and Carlton

Threatened Native Bromeliad Found in Carlton Reserve Picture here

Guide and Maps of Invasive Species  Click here.



Florida Field Journal: Crowley Museum and Nature Center: video

Florida Field Journal: Selby Gardens 1, by Darryl Saffer video

FL Field Journal: Fire and Flood, Myakka RSP by Darryl Saffer video

Recommended streaming video: Great Plains Episode 1   Episode 2

Monitor Poaching in Africa, Sri Lanka on iPhone:Instant Wild

Photo of the Month: Stewards of the Land, the Next Generation

Leucistic Buck caught on cameras in Carlton over 5 years: click here

Nature Conservancy Buys Critical Panther Corridor: Click here.

Florida Field Journal: Baby Birds, Save Our Seabirds,by Darryl Saffer:video

Florida Field Journal: Celery Fields-Jeanne Dubi: by Darryl Saffer:video

Gators Gather at Deep Hole: video

Cornell Ornithology Lab Project Preview: BIRDS OF PARADISE

World Heritage Sites   360˚ aerial views



Use top bar to navigate this site.


Link to searchable U.S. map resources with parks, trails, campgrounds, historical sites, marinas, etc.


Field Guide.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 3.8 MB





Information & Website


Park Naturalists:

 Meghan Harris Meyer

         Art Jensen




Sarasota County

Field Guide

to Conservation Lands

(download 64pp. PDF)


Friends of the Carlton

is a chapter of  FOSCP   

not for profit corp.