Friends of Lovers Key State Park

Together, we protect, preserve and support Lovers Key State Park

At the Park

You'll fall in love with Lovers Key

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.

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 restore a more natural Florida environment for wildlife. The canals and trails were re-conceptualized to provide visitors with a nature experience.

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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Great park to bicycle to. Great place for a hike and a picnic. If you are quiet you will see a lot of wild life including large tortoises.

M. Stewart - Google+ reviews

A Real Florida Treasure



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.

Creature Feature: Have You Been Lucky Enough to See Me at Lovers Key?

Many people are frightened by the sight of snakes. However, when you see a Ringneck snake there is not much to be frightened of. The coolest fact about these adorable snakes is that they are typically under 12 inches in length! Ringneck snakes are very slender usually black with a yellow, orange or red belly and a matching ring around their neck. They rarely bite people who pick them up, partially due to their small size. Most Ringneck snakes live their lives without ever being seen by humans, because they prefer ground cover such as rocks, logs, or ground litter for hiding.

These little snakes like to do some long-distance traveling... more than a mile in some instances.

Even if you see one today, it could be long gone by the next morning (or at least in your neighbor’s yard). They usually are most active under the cover of darkness, when it will be harder for their predators – snakes, birds, mammals, bullfrogs and toads – to spot them. Their first response to a predator is to flip over and expose their brightly colored bellies. This can momentarily distract the predator (or a person), and allow the Ringneck to escape. They can also produce a musk that some predators find unappetizing.

Their diet consists of a variety of tiny animals such as insect larvae, earthworms, salamanders, plus little frogs, snakes, and lizards. Ringneck snakes are extremely vulnerable to environmental alterations that destroy natural habitats, such as pesticides introduced into the ecosystem. Thankfully, Lovers Key State Park provides an excellent area for these little snakes (and so many other animals) to take refuge.

Creature Feature is a new addition to the FOLKS e-news. It is written by Katie Moses, Park Services Specialist. Photo by Katie Moses.

Ringnecks prefer ground cover such as rocks, logs, or ground litter for travelling or hiding.

Learn More

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