TFW LEE ISLAND COAST CONVENTION
Cycling is the most intimate way to get to know Sanibel Island. Twenty-five miles of paved bike paths take you almost anywhere you want to go, leading to shops, restaurants, wildlife areas and beaches.
The Rabbit Road Trail runs behind homes and along a canal. If you go biking early in the morning, you're likely to see plenty of the small gray marsh rabbits that give the path its name. Wading herons and alligator snouts are other common sightings along the quiet one-mile stretch between West Gulf Drive and Sanibel-Captiva Road.
Paved with shell and hard-packed sand, the Wildlife Drive biking route is a bit rough, especially for skinny tired bikes. It's a four mile loop around J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, ending three miles north of the starting point on Sanibel-Captiva Road. Along the way, you can stop and hike into the refuge on short trails or climb the bird observation tower. Avoid the road at sunset, when abundant car traffic will kick up dust.
Bike rentals are widely available on Sanibel, including most hotels.
FYI: On the web, go to www.sanibeltrails.com for an interactive map that will allow you to enter your starting point and plan a day on the paths.