There are more than white sandy beaches and breathtaking sunsets on Sanibel Island. There are also nearly 25 miles of paved Sanibel Island bike trails just waiting to be explored. These trails make the beautiful island a true destination for people with an active mindset. If you’re ready to take in scenery and island life by bicycle, get ready to pedal and make the most of your time in the sun.
Sanibel Island bike trails make for an enjoyable way to truly take in the sights of the island. Sanibel Island bike trails make exploring the island by bicycle part of your Southwest Florida vacation.
Biking on Sanibel Island
You’ll find more than seashells on Sanibel Island. The island’s nearly 25 miles of paved bike trails lets you travel back in time, check out island destinations, and more. The trails are smooth and well-marked, making them an easy ride for novice and experienced cyclers alike. Sanibel Island’s bike trails are also separated from the roadway, so you can cycle safely without worrying about traffic.
If you didn’t bring your bike with you on your Sanibel Island vacation, you can still experience the island on two wheels. You’ll find several places along Periwinkle Way to rent bicycles. Rent by the hour or by the week, whatever works best for your vacation. Choose from single-speed cruisers to recumbent bikes to tandem bicycles, with everything in between. Some vacation rentals on Sanibel Island come with bicycles, too.
Explore the Sanibel Island bike trails, and make way for new memories formed on two wheels.
7 Sanibel Island Bike Trails You Have to Experience
Plan your bike ride before you start pedaling. Here are 7 Sanibel Island bike trails and destinations to check out and enjoy.
1. J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Many people love Sanibel Island because it represents natural Florida. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to get back to nature, especially if you’re seeing it on two wheels. The refuge is famous for its migratory bird populations, so you will likely see a variety of species on your ride. You might also spot alligators, marine life and other creatures. Cyclists can ride the refuge’s four-mile Wildlife Drive loop. Wildlife Drive is open every day except Friday. Admission to the loop is $1 per bicyclist. You’ll also find a free education center at the refuge. You can visit the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge at 1 Wildlife Drive. You can also call 239.472.1100 for additional information.
2. Sanibel Captiva Road
Nestled on the western part of the island, Sanibel Captiva Road is the perfect place to pedal if you’re a fan of seashells. You can cruise down Sanibel Captiva Road on your bike and make a stop at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. At the museum, you’ll learn about everything from the seashells of Sanibel and Captiva Islands to the mollusks who make them. The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum is located at 3075 Sanibel Captiva Road. Call 239. 395.2233 for more information.
3. Sanibel Lighthouse
You’ll find that the eastern half of Sanibel Island is full of lush green shade and seemingly endless bicycle trails. This makes for a perfect destination to enjoy the ride. The beautiful views of the Sanibel Lighthouse can be taken in from the surrounding bike trails. Viewing the lighthouse from the bike trail lets you get up close and personal with this majestic structure without dealing with congested island traffic and full parking lots. The Sanibel Lighthouse is located at 112 Periwinkle Way.
4. Periwinkle Way
Pedaling down Periwinkle Way is a charming way to take in the sights and sounds of the island. Far from the average tourist strip, Periwinkle Way is dotted with shops and restaurants with bike-friendly parking. The bike path down Periwinkle Way is separated from the street, so you won’t have to dodge traffic as you take in the sights on two wheels. You’ll find the most shops, boutiques and eateries to check out on the eastern portion of the island.
5. Middle Gulf Cemetery Bike Trail
Take a ride back in time by pedaling down the path toward the Middle Gulf Cemetery, Sanibel’s pioneer cemetery. This cemetery is a historical site, featuring the graves of some of Sanibel Island’s original settlers. You’ll find approximately 26 unique internments here. Middle Gulf Cemetery is only accessible by bike. To get there, take the bike path off Algiers Lane that heads into a wooded area. You’ll arrive shortly at the Middle Gulf Cemetery.
6. Sanibel Causeway
Coasting down the Sanibel Causeway is an easy way to take in fresh Gulf breezes and breathtaking sights. Riding across the causeway is free to cyclists, which lets you avoid the $6 fee for island-bound cars. The causeway is three miles, end to end, and connects Sanibel Island to mainland Florida in Punta Russa. The causeway is also connected to many popular island parks. Coast down the causeway and enjoy the sights. Fair warning: Only experienced cycles should tackle the causeway. The six-mile round-trip ride features many heart-pumping inclines. Consider walking to the top with your bike and easily coasting your way down.
7. Bowman’s Beach
You’ll find many beaches across Sanibel Island, but a local favorite is Bowman’s Beach. One of Sanibel’s more remote beaches, Bowman’s Beach is clean and pristine. Located mid-island, the beach is an easy place to pedal. Stretch out, swim, collect seashells and more. Amenities include grills, picnic pavilions and restrooms. Bowman’s Beach is located off Sanibel Captiva Road at 1700 Bowman’s Beach Road.
Make the most of your time on the island by taking it all in on two wheels. Explore Sanibel Island bike trails and Naples bike trails and experience island life in a whole new way. For more information about planning the perfect Sanibel Island getaway, check out Sanibel Island vacation rentals from Royal Shell.