On about 2000 hectares and thus about about a third of Sanibel Island extends the "thing" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This can be explored in different ways: by bike, car, tram, kayak or by pedes. Each of these means of transportation has its own charm. Everyone has one thing in common: pure nature.
Somehow it rustles everywhere in the bushes of the Wildlife Refuges. The best way to explore this is probably the bike. Because in the car you do not get so much with what's going on around you so everything - even if you can stop anytime and get out. On foot, it can be quite hot at almost all times of the year, even if there are a few days in winter that are below 20 ° C. In summer, mosquitoes are added to the hot, humid air. It is therefore advisable to take a suitable Spree, as well as enough drinks.
Unique to Ding Darling is that salt water meets fresh water, creating a temperate climate. This combination provides the unique habitat of the resident wildlife in seagrass and mangroves. The park is especially known for the many species of migratory birds that come here for wintering, like the snowbirds. But there are also many other animals such as alligators, turtles, fish, raccoons, possums to see bodily. The protected mangrove and marsh area is divided into the areas Darling Refuge, Caloosahatchee River, Island Bay and houses the two shelters "Matlacha" and "Pine Island". A highlight is the large lake on either side of the road approximately in the middle of the park. Here you will find many different species of birds, whole swarms fly up again and again and the fish occasionally jump out of the water. From the lookout tower you have a nice view, which can be zoomed in with the free telescopes.
Through the park you move - even on a bike - in one direction only. This is actually very pleasant, because the vehicles are not on both sides of the road and so there is enough space for cyclists or pedestrians. But you can also do more than "only" the roads and trails ride: fishing while relaxing in a beautiful nature, by canoe or kayak on the waterways and explore the park on a small tour in the tram.
Admission is moderate: 5 USD for the car, 1 USD for the bike. There are several rental companies on Sanibel, the cost is about 12 USD per day on average. The opening hours of the park are based on the seasons. At the entrance there is a visitor center, where you can first inform yourself.