Play among the treetops at Robinson Preserve's Canopy Zone

It feels like you're high up in the trees at the Canopy Zone at Robinson Preserve in Manatee County. But there's more than just ropes and slides.

Built among existing trees, the canopy provides shade and an escape from the Florida heat. It's a perfect area for families to social distance and for kids to get exercise.

The land once formed the test plot for Royal Palm Nurseries and includes the Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology (NEST).

"We are standing about 18 feet off the ground at Robinson Preserve’s Canopy Zone. It’s something we wanted to incorporate along with the other innovative features we have here at Robinson Preserve, to allow a great amount of play and a great time of families to come here," said Charlie Hunsicker, the director of Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department.  

Kids big and small and even those just kids at heart will leave saying that was fun.

"We wanted to make sure all ropes courses and overheads and clearances were sufficient in height and deep enough to allow parents of all ages to use it. Have some fun, get in the nets and don’t worry about the load. I think one of our facilities we designed for 64 adults at one time so nothing will fall apart out here on our strong course," said Hunsicker. "It is important to allow us that opportunity and space to reconnect what we’ve lost with our social interaction and our required social distancing."

The Canopy Zone is situated at the edge of the historic Reasoner Tract at Robinson Preserve South.

The Canopy Zone hours are the same as Robinson Preserve, sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. Parking can be found near the NEST which can be reached from the preserve’s south entrance at the end of 9th Avenue NW.