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  • Address: 1 Wildlife Drive
  • Hours: Open daily from 7am to sunset; closed on Fridays
  • Admission: $5 per vehicle

Fort Myers ATTRACTIONS See all

J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Located on the northern shore of sleepy Sanibel Island is the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Named after a Pulitzer prizewinning cartoonist, this 6,300-acre wetland and mangrove swamp is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States and is a world-recognized national treasure. A natural abundance of exotic birds makes for great bird-watching even for only passing enthusiasts. Alligators, raccoons, osprey, and the American crocodile can also be spotted either on a short walking trail or via the guided TRAM. Guided kayak and canoe tours are also available, as is The Wildlife Drive, a scenic 4-mile drivable loop through the park — great ways to get close to some of Florida’s best wildlife.

Practical Info

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is located at One Wildlife Drive on Sanibel Island, Florida. Fees are $5 per vehicle and the park is open from 7am to sunset year-round. The Wildlife Drive is closed on Fridays.

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