The J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge is located on the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel in the Gulf of Mexico. The refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States. It is world famous for its spectacular migratory bird populations. J. N. "Ding" Darling is one of over 550 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Hours vary seasonally.
When we lived in Florida this a frequent place to go kayaking and sight seeing. There were always plenty of birds to see and so much sea life. Sometimes it can get a little busy. But none the less, it is beautiful and also great place to take the family.
wish we had come earlier in the morning. a bit crowded for my birding taste. great viewing of ospreys. the new QR code itrail is a great tech use except placement in direct sun made my smartphone create a shadow on the code - making it unable to read all but the 1st sign. including the web address along with the code would have enabled me to access the site by typing it.
You could spend days observing the wildlife here! White-sanded shorelines boast shells, sand dollars, conch, starfish, fish and shrimp (shake out a piece of seaweed to get a good glimpse!) and emerald green waters lay host to dolphin families jumping against the vast skyline--and that's not even CONSIDERING the land! Wear beach shoes and sunscreen. Bring your camera. Don't rush through this one.