Nature has been good to Lee County, one of the last frontiers to be settled in southwest Florida. Nestled between the Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico, the county includes a variety of interconnected ecosystems. Careful planning has preserved much of the environment in its natural state for the discovery and enjoyment of visitors, students and researchers alike, Enjoy! and help us protect this unique bio-region.
1 - JN "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
1 Wildlife Dr., Sanibel, Fl 33957
6,400-acre National Wildlife Refuge located on Sanibel Island; a sub-tropical barrier inland. Habitat for approximately 291 species of birds, more than 50 types of reptiles and amphibians, and at least 32 different mamals. The 4-mile Wildlife Drive visitor/education center, bookstore, canoe trail, kayak/bike rentals, guided torus and foot trails.
2 - Cayo Costal Island State Park
Island North of Upper Captiva
Accessible only by boat, this is one of the largest undeveloped barrier islands in Florida. Extensive beach and dune system provides excellent shelling, and loggerhead sea turtles nesting in the summer. Interior contains pine flat woods, oak palm hammocks and grassy areas that provide habitat for a spectacular display of birds. Hiking, swimming, fishing, tent camping and rustic cabins available for overnight-say. Kayak and bicycle rentals available.
3 - Lovers Key Carl E. Johnson State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd., Ft. Myers Beach, Fl 33931
This 1,463 acre park is comprised of four barrier islands, offering 2.5 miles of beaches and a variety of recreational opportunities, including wildlife viewing, fishing, kayaking, and swimming. Kayak, canoe, and bicycle rental available.
4 - Koreshan State Historic Site
3800 Corkscrew Rd., Estero, Fl 33928
A nationally recognized historical site, Koreshan was a religious community settlement on the banks of the Estero River. Several buildings and pavilions on the grounds have been restored to their appearance during the early 1900s. Campgrounds & canoe rentals are available.
5- Mound House Archaeological & Historic Site, 289 Connecticut St., Ft. Myers Beach, Fl 33931
A nearly three acre Calusa shell mound with the oldest house on Fort Myers Beach serving as an interpretive center. Sweeping vistas of Estero Bay and the mangrove forest beyond provide and opportunity for wildlife viewing. Paddlers can access the Calusa Blue-way from the kayak landing. A variety of tours and educational programs reveal 2,000 years of island life.
6 - Randell Research Center at Pineland Archeological Site, 13810 Waterfront Dr., Bokeelia, Fl 33922
A 200-acre internationally significant archaeological site; occupied by the Calusa Indians for more than 1,500 years; enormous shell mounds overlook the waters of Pine Island Sound. Middens, remains of many centuries of Indian village life blanket the pasture and cactus grovers. Self-guided walking tours available.
7 - C.R.E.W.
23998 Corkscrew Rd., Estero, Fl 33928
Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed is a 60,000 -acre watershed spanning Lee and Collier counties. CREW's 5,000 acre marsh is the headwater for the entire watershed that includes the famous National Audubon Society's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary directly to the south. The CREW March Hiking Trails and Cypress Dome Trails off miles of paths winding through spacious pine flatwoods, marsh, vistas, shady oak hammocks and pristine popash communities.
8 - 4 Mile Cove Ecological Preserve
East end of SE 23rd Terr., Cape Coral, Fl 33990
A 365-acre saltwater wetland preserve; 4,200-foot boardwalk trial through mangrove forest and brackish water marshes' visitor center with restroom facilities and picnic areas at park entrance; canoe launch at Horton Park. Seasonal kayak rentals at Four Mile.
9 - Bonita Beach
27954 Hickory Blvd; Bonita Springs, Fl 34134
Emerald green Gulf waters at beach-front park, bathhouse, volleyball court, and picnic shelters.
10 - Matanzas Pass Preserve
119 Bay Rd., Ft. Myers Beach, Fl 33931
A peaceful 56-acre retreat on the bayside of Fort Myers Beach; wandering boardwalk and foot trails in this unique maritime hammock. Kayak landing available.
11 - Lynn Hall Memorial Park
950 Estero Blvd., Ft. Myers Beach, Fl 33931
Beach-front park; playground, picnic shelters, bathhouse, grills and a fishing pier.
12 - Bowditch Point, 50 Estero Blvd., Ft. Myers Beach, Fl 33931
A wide, sandy beach park with 17-acres on the bay and Gulf; restrooms, showers, changing rooms, picnic tables, grills, trails, and day dock available for boaters. Canoe/kayak launch site.
13 - Lakes Regional Park
7330 Gladiolus Dr., Ft. Myers, Fl 33908
A 279-acre recreational park; 158 acres of freshwater lakes for fishing, canoeing, or kayaking. 2.5 miles of paved pathway, picnic pavilions, amphitheater, lodge, playgrounds, water features, miniature railroad and train village, and a fragrance garden, Paddle boats, canoes and bicycles for rent.
14 - Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
7791 Penzance Crossing, Ft. Myers, Fl 33966
A 2,500-acre wetland ecosystem, mile long accessible boardwalk trail, interpretive center, amphitheater, picnic and shelter areas, restrooms, seating enclaves, and observation decks.
15 - Manatee Park
10901 State Road 80, Ft. Myers, Fl 33905
Lee County's winter home (November-March) for the manatee. Open year-round; viewing areas and lagoon, restrooms, picnic shelters, canoe/kayak launch to the Orange River, fishing cove with deck, native plant gardens, and seasonal visitors' center with manatee information and gift shop.
16 - Hickey's Creek Mitigation Park
17980 Palm Beach Blvd., Alva, Fl 33920
This 862-acre wildlife preserve includes palmetto-oak scrub, pine flatwoods and seasonal wetlands. 5 miles of hiking trails, and amphitheater, parking, restrooms, a canoe/kayak landing , a fishing pier and 2 picnic areas.
17 - Caloosahatchee Regional Park
18500 North River Rd., Alva, Fl 33920
A 768-acre wild wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts. The north side of the park includes mountain biking and horseback riding trails. The south side includes primitive tent camping, a lodge hiking trails, kayak rentals (24-hour notice required), a fishing pier and picnic areas.