Walton Ranch Preserve: New Outdoors’ Draw at North Port


Residential property hunters who veer towards homes for sale in North Port because of its off-the-beaten-track recreational attractions just recently had another reason to firm up their choice. Early in June 2015, Sarasota County officially opened the Walton Ranch Preserve, a 3,760-acre preserve at the eastern end of North Toledo Blade Blvd in North Port.

Already accessible to outdoor enthusiasts are 20 miles of nature trails suitable not only for hiking and biking but also bird watching and appreciation of the preserve’s natural surroundings. Before the end of the year, equestrian trails will be opened along with an expanded parking area to accommodate horse trailers. Other facilities to be provided include a pavilion, picnic areas and restrooms.

The county, in partnership with the Southwest Florida Water Management District acquired the Walton Ranch Preserve in 2010 for $23 million, funded by its Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program. The property, just adjacent to Interstate 75, has a history dating back to the Cracker cowboy era, and part of it has been retained as a pasture for grazing cattle.

Plus point for nearby homes

Walton Ranch Preserve: New Outdoors’ Draw at North Port

Besides providing an added outdoor recreational venue to residents, the preserve will likewise promote ecotourism in south Sarasota County and to a certain extent help bring market focus to North Port homes for sale. One community quite near the Walton Ranch is the Lakeside Plantation which likewise benefits from its proximity to the North Port Park of Commerce just across it at Toledo Blvd.

A well-established neighborhood, Lakeside Plantation is also close to schools, shops and dining venues. Its amenities include a clay tennis court, a spacious clubhouse with a swimming pool and exquisite landscaping. A five-bedroom residence here built in 2004 was sales-listed April 2015 at asking prices in the upper $200s, featuring a floor area of 2,800+ square feet.

For active seniors

For seniors in search of Sarasota homes for sale near the Walton Ranch Preserve, Cypress Falls at The Woodlands is one great destination. This neighborhood is a new community designed for active, age 55+ residents. Developed by Centex, it features affordable, high quality new construction.

One of the choices here is the builder’s Cascadia model priced in the low $200s, which is designed with two bedrooms and two baths within its floor area of 1,600+ square feet. Another model, the Everglades, also features two bedrooms and counts among North Port homes for sale priced in the upper $100s.

The active lifestyle at Cypress Falls is eloquently manifested in its clubhouse with a floor area of 15,000+ square feet, hosting a spacious ballroom, coffee and kitchen room and a fitness center with cutting-edge equipment. Other community facilities are as impressive, with two heated swimming pools, a pair of tennis courts, bocce ball court, and a putting green provided for the residents.

Offsite Cypress Falls, pursuit of an active lifestyle can go beyond the nearby Walton Ranch Preserve. North Port prides itself too with the 163-acre Myakkahatchee Creek Park with wooded trails weaving throughout a moss-draped oak canopy, a perfect setting for picnics, horseback riding, biking, hiking and bird watching.