For the casual hiker and biker, the hard-packed sand of Fort Myers Beach invites breezy rides by day and scenic walks at sunset. Then there’s Sanibel Island, a designated Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, with its more than 25 miles of easily accessible bike paths that stretch and thread through subtropical hammocks, preserved wetlands and along main thoroughfares like Periwinkle Way and more. And that’s far from all. As a whole, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel contains enough hiking and bicycling trails to fulfill the interests of any explorer.
Seasoned hikers and mountain bikers in search of tougher trails should check out the Caloosahatchee Regional Park. Made up of pine flatwoods, and oak hammocks, this landscape is far from a walk in the park, but with more than 20 miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails, it’s an exhilarating way to experience the area and its wildlife.
For even more brushes with native animals, our parks and preserves are some of the best places to roam around and perhaps snap photos of friendly critters and untouched natural beauty. Trails mainly composed of boardwalks run through these parks, such as Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, a 2,500-acre wetland preserve. Traverse it on a 1.2-mile boardwalk, giving you a dry vantage point above otherwise muddy terrain. If you need a break, take a breather beneath a canopy of oaks and palms before continuing on your journey, but don’t be surprised to meet local residents passing through. Gopher tortoise, raccoons, alligators and more than 400 kinds of birds call the area surrounding our trails home. Don’t forget to give them the right of way.
Part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States, the 7,600-acre J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Enter a slow-scenic-driving or biking trail that meanders past multiple pull off stations where you can get out and hike on trails from ¼ mile to 4 miles long. Alligators may be seen, but the main attraction is bird-watching. The refuge is home to more than 245 bird species, so don’t forget your binoculars!
You can also discover water, wildlife and wonderful adventures when bicycling in Cape Coral, another designated Bicycle Friendly Community. One of Florida’s largest cities by land mass offers a very special bicycling experience with more than 90 miles of interconnected bike routes bordering nature preserves, scenic canals, marinas, golf courses and the expansive Caloosahatchee River. Cycle along safe, easy-to-navigate routes to Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve, where you can walk or kayak through a pristine mangrove forest, or to Rotary Park with a bird watching tower and butterfly house.
Ride on The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel
Gasparilla Adventures - 333 Park Ave, Boca Grande, (941) 964-0711
Engel’s Bicycles - 27310 Old 41 Rd, Bonita Springs, (239) 498-9913
Cape Coral Cycling – 5828 Cape Harbour Dr, Suite 202, Cape Coral (239) 849-8567
Trek Bicycle Store of Cape Coral – 311 Del Prado Blvd South, Cape Coral, (239) 673-8628
Trek Bicycle Store of Estero - 8001 Plaza Del Lago Dr, Estero, (239) 390-9909
The Bike Bistro - 20351 Summerlin Rd, Fort Myers, (239) 479-1999
Bike Route - 8595 College Pkwy, Suite 200, Fort Myers, (239) 489-1162
EA Bicycles - 15630 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, (239) 415-6600
Pedego - 2030 W. First Street, Suite E, Fort Myers, (239) 332-8080
Trek Bicycle Store of Fort Myers - 8291 Dani Dr, Fort Myers, (239) 931-6690
Wheel Fun Rentals - 7330 Gladiolus Dr, Fort Myers, (239) 332-2453
Fort Myers Beach
Quicky Scooters & Bikes – 1149 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, (239) 463-8000
Pine Island Cycles, Inc. – 10731 Stringfellow Rd, Bokeelia, (239) 560-0320
North Fort Myers
JRA Bicycle Company - 1089 N. Tamiami Trl, North Fort Myers, (239) 997-1399
Billy's Rentals - 1470 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, (239) 472-5248
Billy’s Bike Shop - 1509 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, (239) 472-3620
Finnimore’s Cycle Shop - 2353 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, (239) 472-5577
SBL Vacations – 2330 Palm Ridge Rd, Sanibel (239) 579-0348
Tarpon Bay Explorers - 900 Tarpon Bay Rd, Sanibel, (239) 472-8900
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