The 21-mile river flows to the north, emptying into the Manatee River inside the Bradenton city limits. From bird-watching, to fishing and boating, it offers a rich variety of recreational opportunities.
There are about five fingers of the headwaters of the Braden River east of Lorraine Road and just west of County Road 675. All but one of the fingers, which come together to form the river, are north of State Road 70.
In the dry season, the headwaters are often bone dry. There may be a series of puddles, and eventually a small, flowing stream. But even miles downstream at Linger Lodge, in the dry season, many portions of the Braden River are too shallow to paddle.
But most of the river offers a front-row seat on wildlife. It’s a wetlands habitat for a wide range of birds, fish and insects, as well as the occasional coyote, otter, manatee, turtle, porpoise and alligator.