Sanibel's Indigo Trail Made a USA Today 10 Best List

Sanibel's Indigo Trail Made a USA Today 10 Best ListSanibel Island is full of the best spaces in the world in my opinion. But there are many people out there who would agree with me because Sanibel is always on some sort of best of list. The most recent list Sanibel has made is for best day hiking trails. The Indigo Trail at the J.N. Ding Darling Refuge is on the USA Today 10Best list of great hiking trails anyone can enjoy. 

What is the USA Today 10Best?

The USA TODAY 10Best is a website/publication under the USA TODAY umbrella of publications. USA TODAY is a longstanding large news outlet in the country. The 10Best publication is a website that showcases reader-voted and editor-recommended favorites in different categories that include lifestyle, food, drink, and travel. Readers often vote on their favorite things in a category supplied by the publication and the winners are published on the website and in some print editions of local news outlets. 

About the Indigo Trail and the Refuge

The Indigo Trail is one of 4 at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge makes up most of the land mass of Sanibel Island. The people of Sanbel love the natural beauty of the island and work hard to keep it that way, this is why the refuge is a considerable portion of the land mass. It is open year-round and home to great recreational areas that are home to several local wildlife species. In addition to hiking it is popular for kayaking and paddleboarding as well as the day camps, classes, and seminars offered through the parks system. 

The Indigo Trail is the longest of all the trails in the refuge. It makes up a 4.4-mile loop when utilizing part of the Cross Dike Trail. The trail start can be accessed near the refuge visitor center. It starts along a portion of the boardwalk and takes you through the mangrove forest. some spots of open water, mud flats, a wildlife observation deck, and along crushed shell paths. It is a very easy and peaceful "hike" that can be enjoyed by anyone. 

Trail Refurbishment

The Indigo Trail was hit very hard by Hurricane Ian and had to be closed for major work and repairs. It just reopened in February 2024. The trail is now in better shape than it was before making for even more reason to check out the trail. 

A local news outlet provided a brief description of the work done to the trails and the local organizations that played a part in it:

"On Feb. 17, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s Indigo Trail reopened ahead of schedule after a temporary closure for resurfacing and stabilization. Thanks to refuge maintenance and the Region 3 Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge GAOA (Great American Outdoors Act) Team, the trail from Wildlife Drive to the Wildlife Education Boardwalk and beyond has new shell paving and has been trimmed and spruced up. The portion of the trail between the Visitor & Education Center parking lot and Wildlife Drive is scheduled for a summer reopening with new boardwalks."

If you would like to learn more about the J.N. Ding Darling Refuge or other aspects of living on Sanibel Island or Captiva Island please browse our blog. We have great information about events and aspects of Sanibel Island culture as well as home ownership tips and current featured real estate listings. If you would like to know information about neighborhoods and homes available for sale in specific neighborhoods we have community pages for Sanibel and Captiva. 

I am here to help with all of your Sanibel or Captiva Island real estate needs. Whether you are looking to purchase or sell a home on the islands. If you are searching for a dream full-time home or an amazing second home that becomes your home away from home. Contact me any time for any Sanibel real estate needs. 

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