One of the nicest attractions that Sanibel has to offer are it’s miles upon miles of walking trails that take you into another world filled of nature and wildlife. Immerse yourself in our tropical paradise by simply taking a walk or a bike ride. Take a walk up Donax and you are at the Bailey Homestead Preserve. This beautiful park was opened up a couple of years ago and is truly worth the walk.
One of the premiere trails on Sanibel Island lies close to the old Bailey Homestead, and is called the Shipley Trail. You can reach the trail and park at the Roadside City Park on Periwinkle Way. Opened in early 2014, Shipley connects two other trails, making for an even longer and more enjoyable morning or afternoon for your wandering pleasure. This trail crosses through some old growth upland territory and provides lovely views, as well as the opportunity to run into island wildlife.
At the beginning of the trail, there are ethnobotany gardens that educate about species of plants that Sanibel Islanders have been using for centuries for their medicinal purposes.
The trail also has a view of Bailey Homestead Windmill that has been lovingly rebuilt since being knocked down by a hurricane in 1944. All of the remaining pieces of the windmill were located nearby and the City of Sanibel got in contact with the original manufacturing company that was able to assist the Island in salvaging the historic structure. Parts had been ordered after the hurricane, but never put in place, these were found not far from the site.
Our very own SCCF, Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, is responsible for all this work and we are very happy and proud that they have undertaken the responsibility to appropriate funds and lands for protections so that both native and visitor alike can enjoy these pristine views.
Take a look at all of the trails open to the public and plan out your own day of wandering throughout the island!