Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies
Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers
Itís hard to know how to occupy younger visitors to Florida without spending a fortune, but the Lakes Regional Park on Gladiolus Drive is a great find. This large park covers 279 acres and has plenty of car parking (nominal hourly rate payable at the machine), many boardwalks and trails, lakes (of course!) with wildlife and boats for hike, bicycles and surreys to rent and a small train running around the parkís features. Best of all the park has two water play areas with fountains and if you fancy hosting a get-together or childrenís party, pavilions are available for private hire.
The park was developed in 1984 from a former quarry and the lakes are natural, as like much of Florida the area is barely above the water table. On Friday mornings the car park hosts a Farmerís Market with produce from the area, but this only takes place in the winter season, November through April. Close to the main parking lot there is an area labeled as a botanical garden with some flowers and shrubs, but nothing to get excited about.
The extensive lakes make this a very scenic and pleasant park for walking, cycling and jogging and there are several loop trails totaling 2 Ĺ miles of winding paths through native vegetation.
The park never seems to be overcrowded, despite clearly being popular with local families at weekends. Fishing is permitted and there are bass, catfish and bream species. The reeds and shallows are always frequented by ibis, egrets and herons. The overhanging tree branches are a good place to spot anhingas spreading their black wings to dry after a dive for fish and frogs. Children will enjoy spotting the turtles that come from far and wide if you feed the ducks some bread! There are signs warning about alligators, but I have never actually seen any sign of one. However, swimming is not permitted in the lakes.
Children love the red miniature railroad train which takes riders around the park, passing scale models of buildings and natural areas along with a tunnel. The ride lasts 15 minutes and currently is free for children and $5 for accompanying adults. Note that young children are not allowed to ride alone!
There is a large playground with climbing equipment, swings and slides and a cafeteria and concessions selling drinks and ices.
Youngsters also enjoy the free waterpark areas that have water fountains, jets and other water amusements in the enclosed splash zone. It is perfect for the hot sticky summer days of Florida, and the area is popular from Easter to Thanksgiving.
Lakes Park is not listed as dog-friendly so I presume pets are not allowed in the park and I have certainly not seen any dog walkers when I have been there enjoying the amenities.
If you enjoy exploring Florida, you may enjoy my latest guide book for those visiting Fort Myers, Sanibel or Naples in southwest Florida
Itís also available as a downloadable ebook from Amazon:
Days Out Around Fort Myers (Days Out in Florida)
Content copyright © 2013 by Gillian Birch. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Gillian Birch. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Gillian Birch for details.
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.