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Child using binoculars on a boardwalk

Just be natural

Fort Myers Parks and Preserves

From nature lovers to history buffs, explorers of all ages discover inspiring parks along our coast. Caloosahatchee Regional Park is a great place to start. After a night of camping, embark on a hike at Hickey’s Creek Mitigation Park, where guided hikes are offered on specific days of the week.

Discover another eco-adventure at Sanibel Island’s J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. One of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystems in the country, you’ll find acres of tidal flats, freshwater marshes and hardwood hammocks which hundreds of bird species and marine life call home. Paddling tours let you take it in at a pace of your choosing – vigorously in the open water, or leisurely along nearby water trails.

Then there’s Lovers Key State Park, where you can hike nature trails, rent a bike, paddle a tidal lagoon, or even lounge on the beach. Lakes Regional Park is equally diverse in terms of amenities. Take advantage of great fishing, scenic boardwalks and plenty of kid's activities, including splash pads and a miniature train ride through the park.

And one of the most interesting areas may very well be Mound Key Archaeological State Park, which maintains a historic presence with a Calusa shell mound that is only accessible by paddlecraft or small boat. Other popular stops include Fort Myers’ Manatee Park, the secluded Matanzas Pass Preserve and the 1.2-mile boardwalk at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve.

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