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View Popular public lands in Lee County in a larger map

Popular public lands in Lee County

Babcock Ranch: The state paid $310 million for 67,000 acres of the ranch, which is mostly in Charlotte County, in 2006. Lee County paid $40 million for most of the lands located in Lee, or about 5,600 acres. Babcock is one of the largest land conservation purchases in state history and connects Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico.

Caloosahatchee Regional Park: A Lee property that straddles North River Road in Alva. The 768 acres were purchased by the state in the 1960s and leased to Lee in 1989. The park includes horse and mountain bike trails as well as hiking, canoe and kayak launches, campgrounds and outdoor shelters.

Cayo Costa State Park: This 2,400-acre island park is in northwest Lee County. The park has hiking trails, primitive camping and cabins as well as running water, although there is no hot water or electricity. Cayo Costa has miles of beaches and several coastal habitats to roam.

CREW: The Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed is 60,000 acres in southeast Lee and northwest Collier. The land is owned and managed by the South Florida Water Management District, is headwaters of Corkscrew Swamp and home to protected and endangered animals.

Estero Bay Buffer Preserve: Part of the stateís first aquatic preserve designations, Estero Bay Buffer Preserve consists of more than 10,000 acres of buffer and transitional wetlands on the eastern shore of Estero Bay. The preserve includes two hiking trail sections and is home to endangered and protected wildlife such as bald eagles.

Hickey Creek Mitigation Park: Co-managed between Lee and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Hickey Creek Mitigation Park consists of 862 acres and was opened in 2002. Hickey Creek is home to Florida scrub jay and gopher tortoise.

Lovers Key State Park: Recognized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Lovers Key State Park is home to expansive beaches, wildlife of all sorts, hiking and biking trails as well as shoreline fishing and canoe and kayak launches.

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve: A 2,500-acre, nine-mile-long wetland that draws water from a 33-square-mile area, Six Mile Slough is owned and managed by Lee, and the boardwalk trails were opened in 1991.

Sources: Lee County, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida State Parks

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