Lovers Key State Park Tram Hours
There is a free tram that will take you from the parking area down to the beach. The tram runs from when the park opens through 5 p.m.
We did not ride on the tram, and it is not a bad walk at all. It took us about 10 minutes to walk from the parking lot down to the beach. However, we did see lots of people riding on the tram. It is a nice option if you have small kids or have a lot of beach gear.
Kayaking At Lovers Key
Since we purchased our trawler back in May, Randy and I havent been able to get out and do much kayaking. We did have our kayaks with us for Labor Day weekend, but it was mostly for the kids to use. Actually our last kayak outing was early May when we launched out of Weeks Fishcamp in Bonita Springs. So we decided earlier in the week that we would go on Sunday .
This morning, Randy packed up our kayaks on the back of his truck and and I packed a cooler for us. Randy, Corey and I then headed to Lovers Key State Park to meet Randys father, Johnny-boy, who was also going to kayak with us.
Lovers Key Adventures: A Great Place For Kayaking And Manatee Watching
When it comes to spending time on a memorable vacation, Lovers Key adventures will surely be on top of your list. Lovers Key State Park is known as one of the best destinations where you can witness two captivating islands-Captiva and Sanibel. Aside from these two islands, there is so much to discover in Lovers Key whether you like natural or wild spots. There are four islands found in the south of Fort Myers Beach. These islands are all ideal destinations for all seasons.
If you are like most vacationers who want to visit Lovers Key State Park during summer months, the beach with a natural shoreline and white sand should be one of the places you should visit. The north and south end also has tree trunks that are bleached out to make the place more scenic, especially for photographers. Although the beaches are popular in summer, there are still many beach goers in winter. Most of them are collecting seashells and walking on the beach.
For those who wish to visit Lovers Key in April, this is the perfect time for bird watching. You will witness different species flock on the beach. Lovers Key also has barrier islands that are subject to development in a not so distant future. You can also take a walk or ride a bike with Lovers Keys two hiking trails.
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Things To Do Near Lovers Key State Park
This beautiful state park is only a few minutes from Sanibel Island, Fort Myers Beach, and Fort Myers. Here are some of our favorite activities to do in the area
JN Ding National Wildlife Refuge: a sanctuary for 245 species of birds and other wildlifeCalusa Blueway: a beautiful paddling trail that wanders the coastCoya Costa State Park: an island beach accessible only by ferrySanibel and Captiva Islands: charming islands just off the coast of Fort MyersEverglades Air Boat Tour: Explore this beautiful area on an Everglades airboat tour
< < For more information about things to do in Fort Myers, check out our article highlighting Fort Myers.> >
Getting To Lovers Key State Park
Lovers Key is located on the southern portion of Estero Island, between Naples and Fort Myers. If youre coming by car to the park, stop by the visitor center on your way in to pay your entrance fee. Check current prices on their website here.
I came to Lovers Key from Times Square in Fort Myers Beach by using the LeeTran Trolley, which is 75 cents to ride.
After arriving at the park, a short walk down the pathway will lead you to the visitors center where youll pay your entrance fee.
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Kayaking Vs Canoeing At Lovers Key State Park
When you head to southern Florida and check out the beauty and adventure on offer at Lovers Key State Park, you are going to want to get on the water and check out the options for watersports. Two of the most popular options at Lovers Key State Park are the kayaking and canoeing that will take you around this impressive waterfront reserve that sits on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Kayaking vs canoeing are entirely different types of sporting activities on the water that are often confused.
About Nature Recreation Management Of Lee County Llc
For many years, Lover’s Key could only be accessed by boatmaking it the perfect private hideaway for couples lucky enough to dock on its sandy shores. Today, individuals of all relationship statuses can step foot on the key without help from a watercraft and even visit the other three barrier islesBlack Island, Long Key, and Inner Keythat together constitute Lover’s Key State Park. Here, visitors may encounter West Indian manatees, bottlenose dolphins, and roseate spoonbills as they explore the surrounding waters via kayak or fishing boat. In addition to the popular 2-mile stretch of sandy beach on Lover’s Key, more than 5 miles of hiking trails can be found on Black Island.
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Consider Hiring A Local Tour Guide For Your Next Kayaking Trip To Lovers Key State Park
Enjoy your kayaking experience at Lovers Key State Park by hiring a local tour guide. A local tour guide with a rich background in Lovers Key State Park and Florida will ensure that your kayaking trip is educative, engaging, and fulfilling. You can rest assured that all the gear and technical planning required for your kayaking trip will be taken care of by a local tour guide if you hire one before you visit Lovers Key State Park.
Great Places To Go Kayaking In Fort Myers
Looking to go kayaking in Fort Myers and nearby Sanibel and Captiva Islands? Weve got you covered with a list of the best places to go!
Kayaking isnt just a wonderful way to enjoy the waterways in a private self-propelled transport, its a great low-impact activity which offers immense health benefits as well.
Home to an endless array of secluded bays, meandering creeks, and calm saltwater inlets, the Southwest Florida region around Fort Myers and Sanibel is truly a paradise for paddlers.
Kayaking and other paddling like stand up paddle boarding are some of the best things to do in Fort Myers Florida if you love the local nature and outdoors.
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Why You Should Consider Hiring A Local Tour Guide On Your Next Outdoor Adventure
If you are a lover of outdoor fun and adventure, visiting new places is always a thrilling and exciting experience. When you plan with family, friends, colleagues, or your spouse for site seeing or enjoying a vacation outdoors, a local tour guide will come in handy and help you enjoy the full experience of your getaway or vacation. Local tour guides have extensive knowledge about the area you are visiting, the history, wildlife, art, architecture, and local cuisines. A local tour guide will not only help you with finding and maneuvering your way around your destination of choice, but they also will make your experience a more fulfilling one.
Are you planning for a kayaking trip to Lovers Key State Park? It would be best if you considered hiring a local tour guide to show and share all that Lovers Key State Park has to offer. With a total of 712 acres, Lovers Key State Park is made up of four barrier Islands and is inhabited with wildlife such as dolphins, exotic birds, manatees, and so much more. Hiring a local tour guide for your kayaking trip to Lovers Key State Park is recommended, and you will be guaranteed an informative and fulfilling experience.
The Best Place To Kayak In Florida
Kayakers from near and far agree that kayaking the estuary in Lovers Key is the best place for a paddle in all of Florida. The mangrove protected estuary is 2 and a half miles of winding waterway trails with manatees, dolphins, alligators, osprey, Eagles, and much much more. Lovers Key is the perfect waterway for novice paddlers and experts. Whether you are looking for a quiet romantic paddle or an adventure, Lovers Key will not disappoint.
Lovers Key Adventures has over 50 kayaks in its fleet to accommodate even the biggest family or group. Our single and tandem sit on top ocean kayaks are very steady and safe.
Even beginners will feel comfortable and at ease very quickly when they push off into the water and float with the smooth currents of the estuary.
The backrests included with the kayak rentals ensure a comfortable day on the water and make the paddle enjoyable for young and old. The bright yellow kayaks and bright orange paddles make it easier for the paddlers to be seen on the water and ensure the safety of our guests.
Life vests are included with the kayaks and our fleet has been inspected and passed by the Florida coast guard.
Lovers Key Adventures provides the best kayak rentals in Fort Myers Beach! Including everything you need for an adventure inside the park.
Please note: Reservations are only required for parties of 10 or more people.
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Best Time To Visit Fort Myers
Fort Myers location in south Florida means it is fortunate to have beautiful weather throughout the year. The ideal time for outdoor adventurers to visit Fort Myers is between March and May. The warm weather is perfect paddlers and kayakers and this time of year sees fewer crowds. It is also the time when multiple festivals take place including the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Parade and Fort Myers Beach Film Festival .
Other Fort Myers Activities
Stand up Paddle Boarding
Stand up paddle boarding is another popular outdoor activity in Fort Myers. SUPs are perfect for getting a better vantage point for wildlife and underwater views. Lovers Key is also one of the best places to launch your stand up paddle board, and it has three separate areas for SUPers.
Hiking is yet another popular activity in Fort Myers. Some popular trails in the area include Six Mile Cypress Slough Trail, Lakes Park Trail, Hickory Swamp Loop, Winker Trail, Orange River Trail, and Buckingham Trails Preserve.
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Wildlife At Lovers Key State Park
There is a variety of wildlife at Lovers Key. There are over 40 species of birds along with manatees, dolphins, bald eagles, tortoises, and rabbits.
Are there alligators in Lovers Key State Park?
Yes, there can be alligators in Lovers Key State Park. It is rare to see alligators so near the Gulf but it is possible. Stay aware of your surrounding to ensure a safe time in the water.
Lovers Key Comments And Photos
Lovers Key offers 2 paddling experiences: easy, sheltered paddling along the canals and small bay within the State Park, and extended paddling via an outlet leading to Estero Bay – open water subject to wind, tide, and motorboats. We stayed mostly along the canal trail, but also took a short excursion onto Estero Bay, where we gained a renewed appreciation for the shelter of the canals. This is a popular State Park, especially on weekends. The beach is ranked among to the best in Florida. The Park maintains a wide choice of on-site rentals by the water with easy launches
Paddling at Lovers Key State Park
Drive straight through the parking lot, around a bend , past the overflow parking to the launch area at the very end. There are three sandy launch points, easy on and off. Rentals are located here. The canal trail is easy, the launch area is nice sand, and an island directly across from the launch is a popular hang-out for manatees, so there can be a lot of paddlers hanging out here as well. The entire canal trail is mangrove-lined, about 5 miles round trip, if so inclined.
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A Southwest Florida Hidden Gem
Lovers Key State Park is a hidden gem in southwest Florida, less known than the Everglades, Sanibel, and Captiva. I highly recommend spending at least one day in the park, and if you do that, youll want to return the next day. The original plan for Lovers Key was to build condos, but the land was donated to the state to preserve the endangered wildlife living there. Thank goodness Lovers Key State Park is here for all of us to enjoy!
Kayaking & Shelling At Lovers Key State Park
There are certain things you learn as a full-time RVers. Things like the fact that school spring break lasts forever and if youre anywhere even remotely desirable during this time you better plan ahead. While I have no problem with kids and families enjoying the same campgrounds that we call home, it does necessitate a certain level of planning ahead that I dont always enjoy. You would think after nearly five years on the road we would have it figured out, but sometimes things slip through the cracks. Which is how we ended up with a one day lapse in reservations between the time we left Koreshan State Park and were due to arrive at Hillsborough SP.
Finding a place to spend a single night is not a big deal. We are hardly averse to overnighting in a parking lot. We prefer not to spend all day hanging out on the blacktop though, which means that we needed to find a way to amuse ourselves with the Airstream in tow.
This view beats a parking lot any day
We surely could have found RV parking there, but since our main goal for the day was to kayak over to the beach, it actually made more sense to find a spot outside the park near the Dog Beach.
It would have been a very long way around had we launched the boats at Lovers Key.
It wasnt a large parking area but we got there early enough to find an out of the way spot right near a little sandy spot perfect for launching the boats.
Launch area only steps from where we parked the Airstream
Boats on the beach
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Lovers Key State Park Kayaking
Kayaking the estuary is one of the best places to kayak in all of Florida. There are about two and a half miles of waterway trails in the park making it a great paddling trail for all skill levels. Along the waterway, you can expect to see manatees, alligators, osprey, and even manatees depending on the season.
Jnding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel
Sanibel Island kayaking is surely one of the best things to do on this barrier island across from Fort Myers, and the The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is the place to go. This is one of the top things to do on Sanibel Island were talking bucket list good!
Located on the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel in the Gulf of Mexico, the pristine nature habitat with the curious name is one of the best places for kayaking in Fort Myers. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States. It is world famous for its spectacular migratory bird populations.
While its not located in the city of Fort Myers itself, its just a short hop across the causeway from the city.
There are two designated kayak/canoe launch sites along Wildlife Drive.
Kayak rentals Sanibel Island: Guided kayak, canoe, and SUP paddle board tours of Commodore Creek and Tarpon Bay are offered by the official concessionaire at JN Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve by Tarpon Bay Explorers. A canoe/kayak trail through Buck Key off Captiva Island also runs nearby and is worth a visit.
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Sheltered Paddling By The Gulf On The Great Calusa Blueway
Lovers Key State Park is a collection of barrier islands between Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The Park’s beach is routinely listed among “America’s Best Beaches.” While paddling on Gulf or Bay involves open water, there is a 5-mile trail along canals within the State Park that offers more sheltered, recreational paddling suitable for everyone. On-site rentals: canoes, kayaks, paddleboards. Many waterbirds, plus manatee and maybe an alligator. State Park entrance fee applies. When bringing your own craft, there are other areas of the Park and adjacent Big Hickory Island Preserve that are also worth exploring.
Distance: 5 mile paddling trail , more available off-trailLocation: Lee CountyTidal: YesLaunch points: Lovers Key State Park Nearby points of interest: Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Edison and Ford Winter Homes, Mound Key Archaeological State Park
Lovers Key State Park
The 2-mile long beach offers beautiful beaches and plenty of activities. Enjoy multiuse trails for hiking and bicycling. Kayaks, paddleboards, and bicycles are available for rent. Explore serene canals and lagoons that are favorite grazing spots for manatees and shorebirds. Noted in its name the park is a popular romantic destination and frequently hosts picturesque Gulf-side weddings.
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