Not any real running paths either, but we do have sidewalks and many, many quiet streets. If you were to live on Siesta, but want a true running path, I would suggest going a few miles over the South Bridge to the new Legacy Trail, a beautiful 17 mile (give or take) wooded running and bike path with entrances/exits every mile or so. There is always running on the beach!
As for other recreation areas, Siesta Key Beach is the most well known of course. While crowded, its great for families because there are restrooms, concessions, and showers. There are playgrounds, picnic areas, a beach volleyball court, and the Siesta Key drumcircle. If you dont have kids with you (so you dont have to keep going back to the bathroom) I would park at the very north end of the lot, then walk north from there until you find your deserted stretch of beach.
A less popular beach area is Turtle Beach Park at the south end of the Key. The beach is much smaller, and the parking lot much smaller to traverse as well. But there are great quiet areas along the inlets, with a shaded playground and picnic area. There is a boat ramp where you can also launch kayaks and canoes, jetskis into the Bay - dolphins, mangroves, quiet water. Its beautiful.
If you like fishing, there is a great little park directly at the north causeway bridge, in the south side. You can park, watch the boats and guys fishing and crabbing. The birds know what to expect and you will often share a bench with a heron or ibis as they wait for the fish haul. Walk under the bridge to see a great view of the Sarasota skyline and John Ringling bridge (heres the view - http://www.SeeSarasotaLive.com )
Finally, a great little secret - walk out on Avenida Messina, just north of the village to the beach - its rocky, and wilder looking, and has a whole different feel than the expansive white beaches.
The magic of the Key is in exploring it. There may not be many "official" parks but nature is at every turn. I hope this helps.
Also, I like to run along Midnight Pass Rd. where it cuts off from Higel as there is a nice wide sidewalk as well as a lot of shade. And there is always the Beach!
17th Street Paw Park, 4510 17th St., Sarasota, 941-861-9830
Lakeview Paw Park, 7150 Lago St., Sarasota, 941-861-9830
Brohard Paw Park and Dog Beach, 1600 Harbor Dr. S., Venice, 941-861-9830
Woodmere Paw Park, 3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice, 941-486-2780
There are 3 parks on Siesta Key. Siesta Key Public Beach, Turtle Beach Public Beach, and Glebe Park. I noticed that Geoff has already filled you in on the specifics of those parks. You will see runners on the sidewalks all over Siesta Key at all times of the day.
Let me know if I can help you find the perfect Sarasota home. Would you be interested in a new construction maintenance free home with a dog park at the center of the neighborhood? Most of my clients have pets and have found Sarasota to be a very pet friendly town.
Re/Max Alliance Group
The best time to be on Siesta Key beach is during a full moon after sunset. The entire beach is illuminated brightly. It is absolutely a 'must-do' event!
Turtle Beach has been recently renourished. It is Siesta's secret. The sand is just regular beach sand compared to Siesta's 99% quartz white sand but it doesn't stick to you. The park offers a children's play area, bathrooms, and a covered pavillion with picnic tables. If you walk South past the condos and homes, you will find Palmer park which is only accesible by boat or walking. It is a great place to look for shells.
There is also Glebe park which is located on Midnight Pass Rd and has an outdoor basketball court, a nature trail, a walking trail, open space, a picnic pavilion, a playground.
Dogs are not allowed on Siesta Key Beaches (by law). Running can be done from one end of the island to the other. There are no specificed paths but bike paths and sidewalks are there that can be used.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
RE/MAX Tropica Sands
Talk to you soon