Kayaking Southwest Florida

by Eric Lindner

Southwest Florida offers a variety of outdoor activities. Kayaking the area provides a first- hand vantage point of the unmatched beauty of our aquatic ecosystems. There are such diverse paddles available ranging from pristine beaches, mangrove swamps, freshwater rivers and creeks, the adventures seem endless. Not only does kayaking provide a direct connection with nature it is an effective, low impact workout that is excellent for your core and upper body.

I would like to highlight a beautiful short day paddle that only takes half a day. Lovers Key to Mound Key Archaeological State Park in Estero Bay is just under a 5 mile round trip paddle. The launch for this trip begins at Carl E. Johnson boat ramp directly across from Lovers Key State Park. The bay is very scenic with numerous opportunities for viewing birds and other wildlife like manatee and dolphin. By paddling the suggested route two unique views of the islands of the bay can be experienced.

Paddling route from Lovers Key to Mound Key

Paddling route from Lovers Key to Mound Key

The halfway point of the trip is Mound Key. Believed to be the capital of the Calusa Indians, the island’s shell mounds reach heights of 30 feet. The self-guided hiking trail starts at the northwest and southeast sides of the island under canopies of cabbage palms and gumbo limbo trees. The top of the mound provides a scenic view of the bay. This provides an excellent opportunity to stretch your legs before the return trip.

Estero Bay Scenic View

Estero Bay Scenic View

Exit from Mound Key looking south

Exit from Mound Key looking south

About the author: Eric Lindner is an avid kayaker with 
extensive knowledge of Florida's ecosystems.
Graduated University of Florida: Environmental Sciences
Owner/operator: www.ecopaddlesportz.com

On Your Mark, Get Set … Marathon in Ft. Myers Beach!

bb9abd_cc14d7b6d9974eee93ce03d8d358b759.png_srz_p_300_120_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzFort Myers 2014 Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K

This year’s Ft. Myers Marathon presented by Ted Todd Insurance and Publix will be run Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, starting at 7am at the Pinchers Marina Restaurant on West First Street in downtown Ft. Myers.

The course will weave through McGregor corridor neighborhoods and cross over the Caloosohatchee Bridge to North Fort Myers, then cross back over the Edison Bridge through the River district and across the Edison Bridge spans again before finishing the last mile through downtown and West First to Pinchers Marina.

This year’s event will also partner with Pinchers, including all participants in the inaugural “Stonecrab Festival” which will take place November 7-9 on the marina and restaurant property adjacent to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.

The marathon course will be comprised of over 11 miles of running through shaded neighborhoods, plus 6 miles over water via four bridge crossings. The half marathon has two bridge crossings and will cover approximately 6 miles of neighborhood trails.

One new segment to this year’s event is a five person Corporate Relay Challenge that will benefit the Kids for Kids foundation with Golisano Children’s Hospital. Each member will run a 5 mile or greater leg of the course with the best five overall times winning the competition.

For additional information and sponsorship information, contact Larry Baldwin at (941) 416-1838 or Larry@eidentracing.com

Fort Myers Marathon – Ft. Myers Beach Marathon