Lovers Key State Park

Description & History:
Lovers Key State Park consists of four barrier islands containing a wide array of coastal wildlife and a 2.5 mile stretch of pristine white sand beaches that was selected as the #4 beach in Florida by the Travel Channel. For years, Lovers Key was only accessible by boat, and still to this day, the island remains one of the most popular boating destinations in the area. Lovers Key is a personal favorite of ours and remains our go-to beach location in Southwest Florida. If you are looking to experience the area’s natural coastline, this is one of the best places to do so.

Lovers Key provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy numerous different coastal activities, including the following:

Lovers Key contains 2.5 miles of pristine white sand beaches and was selected as the #4 beach in Florida by the Travel Channel. This beach provides some of the best shelling opportunities in the area, but remember, it is illegal to collect sea stars or any shell with an animal still inside. A courtesy tram is available to the south beach where a gazebo, shower station, restroom, and picnic area are located. A beautiful walk over two bridges takes you to the mid portion of the beach, which is left natural with no facilities. The north beach is accessible through the north honor gate at Big Carlos Pass. If you are planning to access the beach via the tram, we suggest you take a stroll down the beach to the south end of the island along New Pass to experience the gorgeous views, wildlife, and solitude that is often offered at this end of the beach.

Hiking and Biking
Between the Black Island Trail and the Eagle Trail, the park boasts over five miles of multi-use shell-packed trails. The trails take users through a maritime hammock along the canals and inner waterways of Black Island where wildlife sightings are to be expected.

Canoeing and Kayaking
The park offers 2.5 miles of paddle trails through a mangrove protected estuary. Rentals are available. Contact the Park for more information.

There are several picnic areas set throughout the park, including: on the beach, along the inner waterways, and along the backwaters of Estero Bay. Many of these picnic areas are equipped with grills and trash receptacles.

There are many opportunities for naturalist guided tours through the various regions of the park. Please contact the park for more information.

Wildlife Viewing
Lovers Key is one of the best spots in the area for birding and other wildlife sightings. With over 40 species of birds, 17 of which are on the designated species list, as well as Manatees, Dolphins, Gopher Tortoises, and Alligators, you are bound to have numerous opportunities to observe the local wildlife.

Boat Ramp
The park contains one of the most popular boat ramps in the area due to its direct access to Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Contact the park for more information and fees.

Due to its location, the park offers some of the best fishing in the area. Trout, Redfish, Snook, and Tarpon are regularly caught when in season. Note that a Florida fishing license is required to fish from the park.

The park’s Geo-Challenge has seven caches; six with a riddle or question that needs to be answered, and a portion of the coordinates for the final bonus cache.

Bayside Park
Located on the east side of Estero Blvd, this park offers two playgrounds, nine pavilions, grills, a volleyball court, and restroom facilities.

Usage Fees:
Lovers Key State Park charges an $8 admission fee per vehicle with 2-8 occupants. Single occupant vehicles are charged a $4 admission fee. Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers (over 8 in a vehicle), or passengers in a vehicle in which an occupant holds a valid Annual Individual Entrance Pass or Florida State Parks Annual Pass are charged $2.