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Take a Guided Hike!

Apr 01, 2024 08:00AM ● By Ann Marie O’Phelan

Hiking in the local parks is peaceful and a great way to spot wildlife and greenery, and it’s even more impressive when a naturalist guides one through it. The City of Cape Coral offers a chance to enjoy free guided hikes through Rotary Park and Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve. 

“As spring continues, Rotary Park is offering programming that draws residents outside to protect, enjoy, and convene with nature,” says Lauren Kurkimilis, Public Information Specialist, City of Cape Coral.  

The 97-acre park offers various rugged trails through uplands and salt marshes, a paved walkway, and an observation tower where one can enjoy an eagle-eye view of the ponds. Hikers can spot gopher tortoises, alligators, snakes, and various wading and migratory birds.  They’ll also come across butterfly and native gardens. One can also participate in Guided Preserve Hike and Wild Edible Walks, where they’ll spot even more. Plus, there are also seminars, workshops, and classes, such as the Free Snake Seminar and the Florida Friendly Landscaping classes held at various times throughout the year. 

Inside the 4200-square foot Environmental Center, guests can view an array of reptiles, fish, and other wildlife. Outside, the Liam J. Perk Playground is a big hit with the youngest ones. Rotary Park, 5505 Rose Garden Road, Cape Coral, 239-549-4606, 

Full Moon walks are offered through Rotary Park and Cape Coral Parks and Recreation at Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve. Interested parties can join the group on an evening stroll along the boardwalk just after dark. Hikers will discover the secret nocturnal life of Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve. Tickets are $10 per person (6 & under free). 

Advance registration is required. For more information, call Rotary Park, 239-549-4606. Or visit Kayakers should also inquire about upcoming Full Mood Paddles also offered at Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve. $40 per person includes kayak rental (Advance registration is required). 

Hikers and visitors should bring water, a hat, comfy shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, binoculars, and a camera. “It’s always best to be prepared for the elements,” adds Kurkimilis. For more information about guided hikes, and other Rotary Park events, visit  Rotary Park, Cape Coral Parks and Recreation, and Four Mile Cove Eco Park

Ann Marie O’Phelan is a SW Florida resident and a regular contributor to TOTI Media.