Where should intermediate and advanced paddlers go?
If advanced paddling routes are what you crave, the possibilities are wide open. Try any leg of the trail.
What if the wind is blowing?
Many sections of the trail have protected waters that are comfortable when the wind is blowing.
Among the options:
- Lovers Key: Launch from this Fort Myers Beach-based state park and sample the Blueway in one hour or less.
- Bunche Beach: From this south Fort Myers preserve, try looping around the mangroves behind the beach for protected water; or take two hours and head to Hell Peckney Bay.
- Manatee Park: The east Fort Myers park’s launch site is on a protected canal that leads to the Orange River, a tame, slender tributary of the Caloosahatchee.
- Tarpon Bay: Part of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, this body of water is relatively protected from wind. It also features the Commodore Creek Canoe Trail, which takes paddlers on a gentle two-hour adventure.
Do you have other route suggestions?
Another source of day-trip ideas for paddlers is at the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, http://www.floridadep.org/gwt/paddling/saltwater.htm. Click on Segment 12/Pine Island Sound-Estero Bay for a narrative of point-to-point paddles.
For an interactive map of Fort Myers-Sanibel beaches to explore, click here.