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24 Jan 2019
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Sanibel OutdoorsThings to do on Sanibel


Bailey Homestead Preserve: This is home to the Native Landscapes & Garden Center. It is the newest acquisition to SCCF. The front 9 acres that run along Periwinkle Way are open to the public. This trail is called Shipley Trail, it opened in March of 2014. It connects two of the City of Sanibel parks; Roadside City Park on Periwinkle and Pond Apple Park / Trail. It begins at the Chamber of Commerce. The trail crosses old growth upland areas and passes the windmill on the Bailey Homestead. It also runs parallel to SCCF’s Native Landscapes & Garden Center, which has demonstration gardens and native plants for sale. Located at 1300 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957.

 Periwinkle Preserve: The preserve is located on Periwinkle Way and can be accessed by foot or bike. It is about seven acres of tropical hardwood hammock. The Australian pines were removed after Hurricane Charley in 2004, since then over five thousand trees and shrubs have been planted. The hammock area will provide a haven for wintering and migratory songbirds. Located at 1300 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957.

 The Nature Center: The SCCF exhibit area houses many of the islands snakes and turtles. It has 4 miles of trails that allow visitors to choose a short stroll or a longer walk through the quiet heart of the island. Inside there is an interactive exhibit with maps and videos that describe the challenges of maintaining benchmarks in water quality. The open space of the Nature Center has several hands-on items made specifically for younger children, such as a life size model of a manatee. Located at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel FL 33957.

 Bob Wigley Preserve: This is a 27 acre preserve that is named in honor of Bob Wigley, a beloved islander known for his quiet and generous support of local causes and neighbors in need. There are two short trails, one leading to a gazebo and a second leading to an overlook of the Sanibel River. This is located on Casa Ybel Road, near Periwinkle. Located at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel FL 33957.

 Mangrove Fringe: These areas are in the back bay that are subject to daily tidal cycle submergence or are flooded for extended periods of time. There are several species of salt tolerant trees that stabilize shorelines. That provide an intricate web of sheltered nooks and crannies for fish and other species. There are many wading birds, sport fish, tiny invertebrates such as sea horses, sea stars, sea squirts and oysters are dependent on these “webs”. Located at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel FL 33957.

 Sanibel Gardens Preserve: In the early 1970’s, SCCF began acquiring properties along the Sanibel River. In 2003, they began restoration efforts that included removal of Australian pines and Brazilian pepper, backfilling mosquito ditches and removal of fill roads. This preserve is dedicated to the citizens of Sanibel and their foresight in protecting and restoring the rare barrier islands freshwater wetlands along the Sanibel River. Located at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel FL 33957.

 JN Ding Darling

Indigo Trail: This is one of the easiest trails to access from the visitors center. It is also the most popular because it is 4 miles round trip. It leaves from the Education Center parking lot and ends at the cross-dike, which extends from Wildlife Drive. Along the trail, visitors often spot alligators, night herons and white ibis. Located at 1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957.

 Calusa Shell Mound Trail: This is a ¼ mile trail that has a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk near the end of Wildlife Drive. It takes a peek into the ancient history of Sanibel and the Calusa Indian tribe. Located at 1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957.

 Pond Apple Trail

The access to the Pond Apple Park Trail is to the back left of the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce parking lot. This trail is 2.4 miles long and protects American alligators, bobcats, armadillos, otters and raccoons. Also protected are 150 species of birds and other rare and endangered breeds. Located at 941-901 Palm St, Sanibel, FL 33957.

 Create your own trail

There are 24 miles of walking or biking trails on Sanibel. You can see many birds, mammals and lizards as well as stop at many shops and restaurants.