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.

paddle sports
Friday, May 19, 2017

Fantastic day on the water. Well worth it. Peaceful glide through mangroves, close up view of ospreys, all around enjoyable.

paddle sports
Wednesday, December 25, 2013

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.

paddle sports
Monday, June 17, 2013

Though short, this kayak trail was a lot of fun. The water was never more than 4feet deep and was clear the whole way. We saw plenty of fish, crabs, and birds. Definitely worth the rental price of the kayaks.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

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.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

This trail is an out-and-back that costs $2 per person. The trail head is located at the main entrance of the Darling grounds. Not very scenic but we saw an Alligator. Lots of bikers and walkers of all ages.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

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.

paddle sports
Saturday, August 14, 2010

One of the best areas in the country for birds. You may also see aligators, sting rays and dolphins.