To be more formal, the name of this park is San Carlos Bay – Bunche Beach Preserve, but this is a really laid-back preserve in the Lee County Parks system. Located where John Morris Road meets San Carlos Bay, the 718-acre preserve offers a natural tidal wetland on San Carlos Bay. Residents and visitors anxious for a look at “Old Florida,” need only head to this preserve that reflects what our area looked like before it was landscaped, planted and mowed. This living ecosystem ranges from sandy beach to mangrove forest to salt flats and attracts a wide variety of wildlife. Photographers love this location overlooking Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel for its easy access to flora, fauna and fantastic sunsets.
The park offers two paddlecraft launches, two observation and fishing piers, a 310-ft. boardwalk and composting restrooms. It is a Great Florida Birding Trail site. (floridabirdingtrail.com). A kayak concession offers full service kayak and Stand Up Paddleboards and lessons.
The preserve is named after Dr. Ralph Bunche, a United Nations mediator and the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize.
Parking is available at $2/hour with room for 100 vehicles. Hours: 7am-dusk daily. Bring water, as there is no running water in the park. San Carlos Bay – Bunche Beach Preserve is located at 18201 John Morris Road, Fort Myers, Florida.