I discovered Myakka River Trails one day recently when I was driving down River Road on my way to North Port and I noticed a new black Ferrari in front of me. Seeing a Ferrari in North Port is rather unusual, and I wondered where it could be going. Then it slowed down and turned into a discreet gated entrance marked Myakka River Trails. All you could see was dense tropical vegetation. The Ferrari took off down the canopied road as the gate closed slowly behind it.

What was this place? Some secret enclave of the super rich? In North Port? 

OK, so it’s actually on the border of North Port and Venice, but still, Myakka River Trails is something pretty special. With just 60 home sites of 5 to 15 acres, there’s plenty of privacy. But it’s the natural beauty and abundant wildlife that make it unique. Most of the homes border the Myakka River and there’s direct boating access to Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf, plus miles of horse trails.

There’s currently just one house for sale there, but it’s a beauty. Set on over 7 acres of land, it has six bedrooms, six baths, and two half baths. There are 8,000 square feet of covered verandas, plus a theater, two bars (one for “wine” and one for “sports”), a gym, and a massive garage. The top level is the master suite, with his-and-her baths, a private den, and another veranda. I’d describe the style as “contemporary Southern mansion”—conservative and traditional, but with every possible amenity. Except, oddly enough, a swimming pool.

North Port is the coming place as far as affordable housing is concerned. Who knew it had such grandeur lurking around its edges? Plus at least one Ferrari owner.

500 N. River Road, Venice, is priced at $2.5 million. For more information call Venice Hometown Realty at (941) 306-3059.

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