5 Best Walking, Hiking, & Biking Trails Near Fort Myers, FL

Best Walking and Jogging Trails in Fort Myers

Nestled along Florida's stunning Gulf Coast, Fort Myers features a network of scenic trails waiting to be explored. From meandering paths through mangrove forests to trails along the Caloosahatchee River and through Fort Myers' best parks, this area is perfect for hiking, biking, and reconnecting with nature.

Whether you're craving panoramic views of the coastline or seeking solitude, the trails around Fort Myers promise adventure, beauty, and a chance to appreciate Southwest Florida's natural splendor.

Six Mile Cypress Slough Boardwalk

Discover the tranquil beauty of the Six Mile Cypress Slough, a 1.2-mile loop trail in Fort Myers, Florida, perfect for birding and peaceful walks. This easy route typically takes less than 30 minutes, making it ideal for a quick nature escape.

Despite the boardwalk's popularity for bird watching and strolls, you can still find moments of solitude—especially in the early morning and late afternoon on weekdays. The trail is open year-round, allowing visitors to enjoy its beauty in any season. However, before you plan a trip, note that dogs are not permitted.

Within the preserve, you'll find a boardwalk featuring an amphitheater, shelters, observation decks, a photo blind, and educational displays. Additionally, picnic tables are conveniently located in the parking area and around the butterfly garden, providing a perfect spot for a snack. 

The Six Mile Cypress Slough trail is open daily from dawn to dusk, with a nominal parking fee of $1 per hour per vehicle, capped at $5 for the day. Lee County Annual Parking Stickers are also accepted for entry.

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve North

Visit Six Mile Cypress Slough in Fort Myers, FL

For a longer route, consider checking out the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve North trail.

This 2.6-mile loop trail is an easy path that takes about 45 minutes to complete, and it's fantastic for birdwatching, nature photography, hiking, and even horseback riding. Compared to the preserve's boardwalk, you're more likely to have this trail to yourself.

Spanning over 3,500 acres, the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve—located adjacent to the Paseo neighborhood in Fort Myers—changes from dry to wet throughout the year, creating a dynamic environment for its residents. The wetland is home to alligators, turtles, and otters, as well as a rest stop for migratory birds, so expect to see plenty of wildlife during your visit.

Buckingham Trails Preserve

If you're seeking a trail near Fort Myers with ample space, the Buckingham Trails Preserve is worth visiting. This loop trail in the Buckingham community is a favorite among hikers, horseback riders, and runners, boasting an easy route that typically takes just under an hour to complete.

Located in eastern Lee County, the Buckingham Trails Preserve spans 572 acres and features mostly pine flatwoods and open scrub. The preserve offers a 2.3-mile hiking trail and an additional five miles for both equestrian and hiking use.

The ideal months to visit are February through March when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities, and there's also an opportunity for primitive camping from November 1 to April 31—just make sure to secure a free permit in advance.

Manatee Park

For a leisurely 0.5-mile loop trail, consider making a trip to Manatee Park. The park provides a bounty of things to do in Fort Myers including paddle sports, and the park's laid-back route is ideal for running and walking. Despite its popularity, you can still find moments of tranquility during quieter times of the day. The trail is open year-round, but guests will need to leave their furry friends at home.

Manatee Park is a non-captive warm water refuge just east of Fort Myers Shores, and for the best viewing experience, aim to visit during late December, January, or February when gulf temperatures are below 68°F.

If you're interested in manatee viewing guidelines or want to rent a kayak, the Manatee Kayaking Company at the park can assist. Parking is available for $2 per hour or $5 per day, with additional services like shuttle vans and educational programs also on offer.

Lovers Key State Park

Visit Lovers Key State Park Near Bonita Springs, FL

Just a 15-minute drive from Matanzas Pass Preserve, Lovers Key State Park boasts nearly five miles of secluded walking and biking trails waiting to be explored. As you wander through the park, which is located at the midpoint between Fort Myers and Bonita Springs, you'll come across a butterfly garden, boardwalks, and two miles of pristine beaches.

Keep your eyes peeled for the vibrant pink plumage of roseate spoonbills, the gentle snouts of manatees breaking the water's surface, and the playful antics of dolphins in the distance. For an extra adventure, follow the Black Island Trail to a freshwater pond where alligators often bask in the sun.

Beyond the beaches, Lovers Key—which provides stunning views from some of the waterfront homes in Fort Myers Beach—offers a serene setting to connect with nature. The forested trail provides a sense of seclusion, allowing you to appreciate the park's diverse wildlife. Don't miss the opportunity to explore this hidden gem south of Fort Myers.

Make the Most of Fort Myers' Natural Beauty

The possibilities for outdoor exploration are as endless as the horizon in Fort Myers. Whether you're strolling through a nature preserve or tackling a challenging hike across rugged terrain, these trails offer a glimpse into Fort Myers' diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your bike, or simply pack a picnic and set out to discover the natural wonders waiting to be found along the trails of this coastal paradise.

If you've fallen in love with Fort Myers, Call Palm Paradise Realty Group at (239) 955-7256 to get in touch with a local real estate agent and find your Fort Myers dream home today.

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