It’s true, Sanibel hosts top ranked shelling beaches and glorious sunsets, both steps from our doorway at Pelican’s Roost. Sanibel also offers over 24 miles of shared use pathways for biking, strolling, jogging – and miles upon miles of hiking paths?
Sanibel Island, a gem on Southwest Florida’s coast, is a barrier reef 33.16 square miles total, with 17.21 square miles (just over half) being land, and 15.96 square miles of inland water. Over half of the island is composed of wildlife refuges, the biggest being Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. Trails for all skill levels and ages meander through this amazing group of habitats. So, both the young and old, trade those flip flops for walking shoes and hit the trails for a brand new perspective of Sanibel Island away from the sand and surf– it’s time to go hiking on Sanibel!
A few of our favorite trails?
Indigo Trail – 4.0 miles – This trail is by far the most popular, as it begins at the Visitor Center.
Bailey Tract – 1.1 miles – Starting off of Tarpon Bay Road, this is a lesser known pathway that loops around impoundments and offers excellent birding.
Shell Mound Trail – 0.4 miles – This wheelchair accessible boardwalk sits near the end of Wildlife Drive inside the refuge. This trail takes one into the ancient history of Sanibel Island.
4 miles of trails at the Nature Center on Sanibel-Captiva Road
6-mile trail in the Periwinkle/Blue Skies Preserves on Periwinkle Way
And two short (around 500 feet) trails on the Bob Wigley Preserve
There are also trails in the Sanibel Gardens Preserve, accessible from Island Inn Road. A printable map showing locations of all walking trails on Sanibel Island can be found here or an interactive map and information with SanibelTrails.com here.
Whether you are a first time hiker or a longtime hiking enthusiast, you can track your Sanibel adventures easily with this handy app here (Mapmywalk).
Get out there and go hiking on Sanibel!