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Florida State Parks

USA Parks
Southwest Region
Lovers Key State Park
Walk on the Beach ©
Manatee ©
Manatee mother and her young show scars from boat propellers
8700 Estero Blvd.
Ft. Myers Beach, Florida   33931

Phone: 239-463-4588
For years, Lovers Key was accessible only by boat and it was said that only lovers traveled to the island to enjoy its remote and solitary beach. Today, it is one of four barrier islands that make up this state park. A haven for wildlife, the islands and their waters are home to West Indian manatees, bottlenose dolphins, roseate spoonbills, marsh rabbits, and bald eagles. The two mile long beach is accessible by boardwalk or tram and is popular for shelling, swimming, picnicking, and sunbathing. Black Island has over five miles of multiuse trails for hiking and bicycling. Anglers and boaters can launch their vessels from the park's boat ramp. The park's concession offers boat and fishing tours, as well as bicycle, canoe, and kayak rentals. For tour reservations, call (239)765-7788. Located on County Road 865 between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach in Lee County.

Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.
Nature of the Area
Lovers Key is one of the best birding areas in South West Florida. You may also encounter Bottlenose Dolphin or West Indian Manatees while in the park.
History of the Area
Lovers Key State Park is made up of 4 barrier islands, Black Island, Long Key, Inner Key and Lovers Key. These islands were slated for development in the 1960?s and 70?s and were highly disturbed in preparation of development. Mangrove wetlands were altered to uplands by dredging a canal system through Black Island. After acquisition by the State of Florida in 1983 and a merger with Carl E. Johnson County Park on the southern end in 1996, these islands have now become Lovers Key State Park with 1616 total acres. This has been a long-term project creating a partnership between the State of Florida, Lee County Government, Lee Island Coast Tourist Development Council and many local citizens and communities. Local legend hints that Black Island got its name from a Pirate by the name of Black Augustus who had been captured by authorities and later escaped, making this his home for the remainder of his life.

There are several artesian wells located on Black Island, providing a source of fresh water. From the early 1900?s up until the late 1950?s, fish camps were set up in many areas of Black Island. These were abandoned when thoughts of development began. The State of Florida is now in the process of restoring the islands to their natural plant communities by removing the exotic vegetation and allowing native plants to return or be planted. This has created a multi use facility including over 2 miles of beachfront on the Gulf of Mexico with fantastic shelling and breathtaking sunsets, several miles of hiking/biking trails through a maritime hammock, canoeing and kayaking on the inner waterways and several picnic areas throughout the park.
Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at all park ranger stations and museums. If you require immediate use of your pass, this is the best option. Passes can be purchased during regular business hours 365 days a year. Please call the park in advance to ensure availability. Those who are eligible for discounted or free passes may use this method to receive their pass. Annual Entrance Passes may be purchased online by visiting the FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNUALENTRANCE PASSES web page.
Park Store
Nature Recreation Management is the new concessionaire for Lovers Key State Park. This new visitor service provider offers kayak, canoe and bike rentals. Food, Beverage as well as delicious ice cream is now available.
Nearby Vacation Rentals
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Swimming is a popular activity in the Gulf and the park boasts 2 1/2 miles of excellent beachfront.
Lovers Key is a 2 1/2 mile stretch of beautiful beach. It was selected as the #4 beach in Florida by the Travel Channel. A courtesy tram is available to the south beach where a gazebo, restroom, and picnic area are located. A beautiful walk over 2 bridges takes you to the mid portion of the beach, left natural with no facilities. The north beach is accessible through the north honor gate at Big Carlos Pass. We suggest exploring all three areas of the beach and discover their unique attributes.
Trout, redfish, snook and tarpon are caught seasonally. Castnetting for mullet in the bay is a popular activity.
Canoeing and kayaking are very popular throughout the inner waterways and in Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Day Use Area
Two playgrounds, picnic shelters, grills and restroom facilities are available at the Lovers Key State Park Bayside Park. The park is located on Estero Blvd 1 mile north of the main park entrance. Pavillions are available to rent for Weddings, reunions, company picnics and parties. Contact Nature Recreation Management at (239)765-7788.


The Bayside four acre addition provides opportunities to visitors for recreation and relaxation. This state-of-the-art facility offers two playgrounds, nine pavilions, grills, volleyball court, restroom facilities and an additional field for flying kites and playing.
Several picnic areas are set throughout the park. On the beach, the inner waterways or the backwaters of Estero Bay, you will be able to find the right spot to enjoy a picnic. Many of the picnic areas are equipped with grills and trash receptacles.
The Black Island Trail is 2.5 miles of hiking or biking adventure through a maritime hammock along the canal banks of Black Island. There are a total of 8 miles of trails within the park including the beach.
Enjoy over 5 miles of bike trails including the Black Island Trail through a maritime hammock. Trail maps are available showing many interesting places and observation points along the trail. Bring in your own bicycles or rent them at our concession located in the main parking lot. For rental information, contact the park concessionaire at(239)765-7788.
Guided Tours
The park staff and concessionaire offer a full array of programs that are sure to entice the adventurous side of you. Join the environmentalists as you discover the many interesting aspects of this nature lover's paradise. For more information please contact the park at (239) 463-4588. Nature Recreation Management is the new concessionaire for Lovers Key State Park. This new visitor service provider offers kayak, canoe and bike rentals. Food, Beverage as well as delicious ice cream is now available.
Area Attractions

With over 2 ? miles of shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico, Lovers Key State Park has some of the best shelling opportunities on the Lee Island Coast. Just remember that the taking of live shells is prohibited.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
January 18 lots of sightings by Two Ontarians
In only a one hour walk along the Black Island trail, we saw a gopher turtle, right near the sign for them; osprey, near their sign; buzzards; and a huge grey fluted tail whale-like creature diving and surfacing at the 2-mile point in the river which we learned, by calling Brian at the park office the next day, was a manatee. Our first. Such a delightful park.
February 20 I Luv Lovers Key by [email protected]
Lovers Key is an ecological paradise. There is something special for everyone who enjoys the great outdoors, beach style. The beach itself is clean and pristine, with miles of shelling possibilities. One has the opportunity to fish, swim, or kayak in the clean gulf waters. The shaded hiking trails provide hours of enjoyable and peaceful exercize and offer an education about local plant life for all. It is uncommon to find osprey hawks and bald eages anywhere, but they can be found, to my amazement, here at Lovers Key. The park facilities are clean and pleasant and the employees both helpful and friendly.
January 2 The best! by twotrav
Lovers Key State Park is the greatest! The beaches have beautiful fine white sand and the shelling is some of the best anywhere. The trails are great for walking or biking. Manatee, Bald Eagles, Osprey, Gopher Tortoise and Alligators can easily be spotted on any visit to the park. If I could visit only one spot in Florida...Lovers Key State Park would be my pick every time!
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Lovers Key is located at 8700 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach. The park boundaries are Big Carlos Pass and New Pass. We are 10.5 miles west of I75 on exit 116.


Florida State Parks