Southwest Florida is a great place for hiking. Since spring has arrived,
you may be looking for beauty and serenity in your outdoor nature walks. With that being
said, we've put together a short list of walking/nature trails in the Cape Coral area for you to check out.
Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve Trail. Photo courtesy of Shiira Pineda, via AllTrails.com.
Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve Trail is a 1.7-mile loop trail located near Cape Coral. The lightly trafficked trail features beautiful wild flowers and is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding. Visitors can access the trail all year long.
The trail also features a winding boardwalk through spreading mangroves, running along the Caloosahatchee River. Wildlife lives along the river, so there are plenty of opportunities to see nature in its natural element. Viewing opportunities include herons and egrets, otters, raccoons, woodpeckers, and migratory birds, as well as alligators, osprey, anhingas, cormorants, white ibis and ducks.
There is canoe and kayak rental, plus a park with 365 acres of red, black, and white mangroves along with large open areas of marshlands. Be prepared to combat mosquito's. This is not a running/jogging trail.
Lake Kennedy Community Park. Photo courtesy of CapeCoral.net.
Lake Kennedy offers a 3/10 mile paved walking path around a beautifully landscaped garden and gazebo. The park encompasses 46 acres, and is home to Sun Splash Family Waterpark
. In addition, the Kiwanis Gardens, visible from Santa Barbara Blvd, is a nicely landscaped area that was a gift to the City from the local Kiwanis chapter to help beautify the park.
Rotary Park. Photo courtesy of CapeCoral.net.
Glover Bight Trail is a 3/10 mile boardwalk trail, located within Rotary Park which is wheelchair accessible. The trail passes through mangrove wetlands and ends at Glover Bight, an area of oyster bars and shallow flats that is a great place to view wading birds, especially during low tide.
The trail is on the grounds of Rotary Park Environmental Center, a 97-acre property that includes mostly salt marsh, some upland and a lot of rock just under the surface. This preserve contains marshland and is very swampy at certain times of the year. That means be prepared for mosquitoes when you visit. A variety of small critters reside in the nature center including snakes, fish, lizards, and turtles.
This trail is great for birdwatching. Possible wildlife sightings include gopher tortoises, alligators, snakes and a large variety of wading & migratory birds. Click here
for a full list of birds you could encounter on your hike.
Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. Photo courtesy of FloridaStateParks.org.
Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park is comprised of 43,404 acres and protects more than 100 miles of shoreline along Charlotte Harbor in Charlotte and Lee Counties. It is the third largest Florida State Park.
Visitors can hike, fish, paddle, and observe wildlife in the park's many natural communities, including mangrove forests, marshes, scrub habitats, and pine flatwoods. Most of the park is shallow water fringed by mangroves, providing amazing opportunities to view wading birds, manatees, dolphins, and other wildlife.
Hikers and bird-watchers can access Charlotte Harbor's upland areas at pedestrian walkthroughs available in each section of the park and explore the wildlife found along three marked trails.
Visitors are welcome to explore other areas of the Preserve, unless posted as closed, but should be aware that these areas are of remote and primitive wilderness. Visitors should take a compass, a map and sufficient water for their trip. No restrooms or drinking water are available.