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Lovers Key State Park

At the Park

You'll fall in love
 with Lovers Key

From the north, you cross Big Carlos Bay to Black Island; from the south, you come over the New Pass into the pristine habitats on the south end. Either way, you'll pass hiking trails, picnicking, bike and canoe trails, boat ramps and more on your way to Lovers Key. A tram is available to take you there. Once on the beach, look for shorebirds! Get directions here.

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The Park is open for day use from 8 am to sunset, every day of the year. Admission: $4 per single occupant vehicle, $8 per vehicle to a max of 8 occupants, $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists and extra passengers. Camping and campfires are not allowed. Download a large map (pdf 1.3mg) to plan your trip.

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Preserving Our Natural Heritage

Accessible only by boat until 1965, Lovers Key and its neighboring Black Island had a early history enacted by lovers and pirates. After bridges linked the islands to the mainland, their landscapes were much altered by humans through dredging,

In 1983, the state acquired the islands and in 1996, merged with adjacent Carl E. Johnson County Park to become Lovers Key Carl E. Johnson State Park. Efforts were soon underway to remove the invasive exotic Australian pine to provide a restore a more natural Florida environment for wildlife. The canals and trails were re-conceptualized to provide visitors with a nature experience.


A Real Florida Treasure

At a time when South Florida’s natural coastal areas are disappearing, Lovers Key State Park stands out as one of the finest examples of subtropical, coastal habitat remaining in Southwest Florida.

This area of the Gulf Coast of Florida is home to dolphins, manatees, bald eagles and roseate spoonbills, in addition to thousands of migratory wading birds, shorebirds and other waterfowl in season.

The 712-acre Florida State Park embraces Lovers Key and three other barrier islands—Black Island, Inner and Long Key. Visitors can hike or bike along the trails, comb the beaches, swim, kayak, fish or watch wildlife.

However you decide to explore the park, you will experience one of the most beautiful and tranquil nature parks in the country.

Amenities

Lovers Key State Park is one of the top three most visited state parks in Florida. The park has environmentally friendly restrooms, a concession with canoes, kayaks and bicycles and a courtesy tram provides convenient access to the beach and pavilion.

Beyond the two-mile long beach on Lovers Key, Black Island has over five miles of multi-use trails, a gazebo, picnic areas, a boat ramp, and two playgrounds. The Friends of Lovers Key join dedicated volunteers and the State Park staff in upkeep and upgrades. See how you can help!

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Estuary tours hightlight the natural riches of the coastal ecosystems. Birders and botanists, shell hunters and sealife enthusiasts find new reasons to love Lovers Key State Park.

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Learn More

Park Bird List – print this list before you visit to record your observations and know what bird to watch for.

Lovers Key State Park Brochure – Ready to print, this pdf file contains an overview of the history, ammenities and rules for our park.

Florida State Parks, 75 years of Excellence – Read about the history of our state parks, and Lovers Key. Contains historical photography and the story of our relationship to Flordia's natural heritage.

Lovers Key State Park – The Florida State Park site provides a section detailing the news, programs, and opportunties of Lovers Key State Park.

Florida Master Naturalists– The Florida Master Naturlist instructors provide programs about Florida's environment using science-based information and interpretive techniques that prepare students to share their knowledge with others. Lovers Key State Park is a key training site for this program.

The Great Florida Birding Trail – Lovers Key State Park is a birder's delight, especially for shorebirds. Visit the website for the South Florida Birding Trail Guide. The Birding Trail is sponsored by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission which provides a wealth of information concerning fishing, boating, wildlife, research, education and conservation in Florida

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for information concerning fishing, boating, wildlife, research, education and conservation