E36. Lovers Key State Park
Nearest City: Fort Myers Beach/Bonita Springs
Phone Number: 239-463-4588
Website: E36. Lovers Key State Park
Features/Amenities: Restrooms, Entrance fee required, Birding by boat, Birding by foot/hiking, Birding by bicycle, Best time of day: All day, Recommended length of visit: a few hours br>
Habitats: Mangrove Swamp, Hardwoods/Mixed Forest, Marine/Bay, Beach/Dune, Coastal Strand, Mudflats
This park encompasses habitats ranging from Estero Bay mudflats to the Gulf of Mexico beach, with the area in between including tidal creeks and lagoons, mangrove swamps and tropical hammock. Walk the trail loops on Black Island through the hammock for Red-shouldered Hawks, Bald Eagles and Osprey overhead. Low tide is best at the bay, where wading birds such as Roseate Spoonbills and Reddish Egrets will be seen. The Gulf beach is an active nesting area for Snowy Plovers and Least Terns; Piping Plovers winter here. Please respect beach closures! Bring your own kayak or rent one here and put in on the Great Calusa Blueway (no overnight camping here).
Directions: From the north: from intersection of SR 865/Estero Blvd. and San Carlos Blvd. in Fort Myers Beach, drive 7.3 mi. south on SR 865/Estero Blvd. to the entrance on the right (W). From the south: from intersection of US 41 and SR 865 (Bonita Beach Rd.) in Bonita Springs, drive 2.3 mi. west on SR 865 and bear right (N) onto Estero Blvd. (still SR 865). The entrance is 4.6 mi. on the left (W).
Open all year, 8 a.m. to sunset.
Location: 26.393145, -81.867385