National Parks

Gasparilla Island State Park (Boca Grande)

Gasparilla Island State Park (Boca Grande)

One of the largest and most diverse nature areas in Florida, this State park offers sightseeing tours by boat and tram and visitors can learn about the ecology of the area and the interesting features of its many inhabitants including alligators, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, ibis, egrets, deer, wild turkey, bobcats, and many other animals and birds. Myakka River State Park is located 9 miles east of I-75 in Sarasota on S.R. 72.
Broadmoor Park

Broadmoor Park

Beautiful park for walking and biking
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a 13,000 acre Preserve and is home to the largest remaining stand of old growth bald cypress in North America. A 2.25 mile boardwalk trail is open to the public daily.
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is the gateway to the Western Everglades. Many resident species rely on the Everglades' freshwater wetlands that Audubon works so hard to protect.
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve (Fort Myers)

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve (Fort Myers)

Quiet walk in nature so close to the city! It is shaded so nice and cool. You look, wild boars, squirrels, many birds, fish and turtles. You walk over a stroller friendly Boardwalk.
Peace River Wildlife Center & Ponce De Leon Park (Punta Gorda)

Peace River Wildlife Center & Ponce De Leon Park (Punta Gorda)

The Peace River Wildlife Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the care, preservation and protection of Charlotte County's native wildlife. The mission of the Peace River Wildlife Center is to treat and rehabilitate injured and orphaned native Florida wildlife (except venomous snakes) and, if possible, to return them to the wild. 
Cayo Costa State Park (west of Fort Myers)

Cayo Costa State Park (west of Fort Myers)

With nine miles of beautiful beaches and acres of pine forests, oak-palm hammocks, and mangrove swamps, this barrier island park is a Gulf Coast paradise. The park is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Visitors may see manatees and pods of dolphins in the waters around the park, as well as a spectacular assortment of birds. On the island, visitors can swim or snorkel in the surf, enjoy the sun, and picnic in the shade. Shelling is especially good during the winter months. Nature trails provide opportunities for hiking and off-road bicycling. Saltwater anglers can fish from their boats or throw a line out into the surf. An amphitheater provides educational programs about the islands ecology and history. Cayo Costa State Park, a jewel of the Gulf coast, lies west of North Ft. Myers and is accessible only by private boat or passenger ferry.
J. N.

J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge (Sanibel Island)

This 6,300-acre Florida wildlife refuge, named for Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and pioneer environmentalist Jay Norwood Darling, is - at latest count -- home to 238 species of birds, more than 50 types of reptiles, and 32 different kinds of mammals. The refuge features wonderful bird watching spots, bike and walking paths, winding canoe trails and a four-mile scenic drive, all of which are lush with seagrape, wax and salt myrtles, red mangrove, cabbage and sabal palms, and other native plants.
Myakka River State Park (near Sarasota)

Myakka River State Park (near Sarasota)

One of the largest and most diverse nature areas in Florida, this State park offers sightseeing tours by boat and tram and visitors can learn about the ecology of the area and the interesting features of its many inhabitants including alligators, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, ibis, egrets, deer, wild turkey, bobcats, and many other animals and birds. Myakka River State Park is located 9 miles east of I-75 in Sarasota on S.R. 72.
Charlotte Harbor

Charlotte Harbor

Ringing Charlotte Harbor like a necklace of mangroves, the park provides vast areas of unspoiled scenery and vital habitat for many varieties of wildlife. The Charlotte Harbor Estuary is one of the most productive in the state and five aquatic preserves have been established in the water bodies adjacent to the park. The Mangrove forests and salt marshes comprise the majority of the park, but public access points have been established at strategic upland points in each area of the park.
Stump Pass Beach State Park (near Englewood beach)

Stump Pass Beach State Park (near Englewood beach)

Visitors can enjoy an excellent view of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a stretch of undeveloped Florida coastline. Visitors come to this secluded beach to enjoy the year-round swimming and sunbathing; shelling is best during the winter months. A hiking trail passes through five distinct natural communities that provide homes for many species of wildlife; covered picnic tables are located along the trail. While at the park, visitors might see West Indian manatees, gopher tortoises, snowy egrets, least terns, and magnificent frigate birds.
Don Pedro Island State Park (9 miles south of Englewood)

Don Pedro Island State Park (9 miles south of Englewood)

This beautiful little island is part of an extensive chain of barrier islands extending along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Between Knight Island and Little Gasparilla Island, Don Pedro is accessible only by private boat. Visitors might see endangered animals such as West Indian manatees, gopher tortoises, bald eagles, and American oystercatchers. With a mile of white sand beach, popular activities on the island´s Gulf side include sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and shelling. Boat and surf fishing are also favorite pastimes. Located off the coast of Cape Haze about nine miles south of Englewood.