Take a hike at the Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility in Sarasota

If you've been fighting cabin fever and are looking for a place to get some outdoor exercise, many county parks are back open again.

The Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility in Sarasota is off the beaten path and functions very much like a natural park.

"We have trails, we have birding, we have all kinds of physical fitness activities," said Lynda Becherelli a Sarasota Parks and Recreation specialist.

But it's not a park. "First and foremost it is a stormwater management facility,” Becherelli explained. “There are seven water control structures here. (But) It has many of the features of a park. It is used like a park."

In the late 1800s, the land was drained and used for agriculture. In the 1920s, the property was purchased by the Palmer family and used to grow celery commercially. 

"We were one of the largest celery producers in the state in the 1920's," Becherelli shared.

When the county purchased the property in the 1990s, they renovated it back to its natural state to help flood and stormwater abatement.

"Here at Celery Fields you can hike seven miles of trails," Becherelli said. Part of those trails is the 55-foot high mound that overlooks the entire property.

"The mound is the highest spot in Sarasota County that is publicly accessible with the exception of the Ringling Bridge," she bragged.

There are two boardwalks that enter the marsh and waterways on the property. There you can see so many of Florida's different waterfowl.

Becherelli said, "My favorite part of this site, (is where) you can watch these birds as they are raising their young."

You can find out more information about the Celery Fields here