Florida Guide > State Parks
LOVERS KEY STATE PARK
Lovers Key State Park is istuated in Lee County, between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach on County Road 865. We once almost lost these 4 barrier islands to the developers in the 1960s and indeed preparation work had already started when commonsense came to the fore and they were rescued by the State of Florida in 1983.
Some damage had already been done, since they had already dug a canal system that damaged the mangrove wet lands of Black Island. The State combined these 4 islands with Carl E Johnson County Park to form what is now known as Lovers Key State Park.
Why Lovers Key? well years ago these islands were so difficult to access that it was said that only Lovers took the trouble to find the peace and privacy that they afforded. The State Park now has over 1600 acres to explore and enjoy.
The parks department is currently working hard to restore the natural flora of these islands. Black Island has many artesian wells that were used as a natural water source for the many fish camps which flourished from the turn of the century to the time that the proposed development disenfranchised them.
There are 2 miles of stunning beach at Lovers Key. The south beach is accessed by a free tram where you then walk over one of 2 bridges to enjoy its serene beauty. If you want to visit north beach then that is reached by way of Big Carlos Pass which has an honesty box for your entrance fee. Both beaches are notable for their wonderful shelling opportunities.
A good way to explore this park is by bike and you can rent one from their new concession which is located in the car park. Grab a trail map before you leave to make the most of your day.
You can also rent a canoe or kayak from the concession or book one of their eco tours. The concession is called Nature Recreation Management (tel 239 314 0110) and you can also pick up some drinks and snacks here.
There are 8 miles of trails to explore here, most notably the Black Island Trail, which leads you through maritime hammock along the aforementioned canal bank. Another takes you along the beach and here you may spot some of the 40 varieties of birds that make their home here. You are likely to see ospreys, roseate spoon bills and American kestrels so take your binoculars with you.
The rangers and the park concessionaires have a large programme of events here ranging from guided kayak tours to beach walks and backwater fishing. Phone 239 463 4588 or 239 314 0110 for details.
This park costs just $5 for a carfull of 8 people and is open 8. a. m til dusk daily. Should you wish to visit another park in the same day there are several near by parks including Estero Bay Preserve State Park and Collier Seminole State Park. My guess is that you will be so entranced by Lovers Key that you will while away your whole day here!
Lovers Key State Park
8700 Estero Blvd.
Ft. Myers Beach, Florida 33931
Citizen Support Organization
Friends of Lovers Key
8700 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, 33931
Visitor Service Provider
Nature Recreation Management 8720 Estero Blvd Ft. Myers Beach, FL 33931 (239) 314-0110
Nature Recreation Management
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Page added on: 7 April 2008
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