Despite its name, Cockroach Bay is a nature-lovers paradise

At the mouth of the little Manatee River sits a series of islands accessible only by water that is a paradise for anglers and bird-watchers.

The area is known as Cockroach Bay. Legend has it, the islands got their name because horseshoe crabs were once so abundant along Florida’s west coast that early Spanish explorers called them cockroaches and believed they were seagoing cousins of the insects.

Two canoe/kayak paddling trails meander through the water surrounding the islands. 

Approximately 500 acres of the 617 acres that make up the islands is a mangrove swamp.

The nearest public boat ramp is located west of Highway 41 at the end of Cockroach Bay Road, four miles north of the Manatee County line.

LINK: Learn more about Cockroach Bay here