From the north, you arrive at the park when 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 access hiking trails, picnicking, bike and canoe trails, boat ramps and more on in Lovers Key State Park. For a special treat, take the tram to the beach on Lovers Key. Once on the beach, look for shorebirds! See directions on Google Map here.
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 restore a more natural Florida environment for wildlife. The canals and trails were re-conceptualized to provide visitors with a nature experience.
M. Stewart - Google+ reviews
Great park to bicycle to. Great place for a hike and a picnic. If you are quiet you will see a lot of wildlife including large tortoises.
Lovers Key State Park features 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!
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 1,616-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.
Lovers Key State Park – The Florida State Park site provides a section detailing the news, programs, and opportunties of Lovers Key State Park.
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 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