Complete Biking Guide For Sanibel Captiva

With over 25 miles of bike paths on Sanibel it is no wonder that on such a small Island biking is so popular. Biking is one of the easiest ways to get around and is the best way to truly soak in the island’s vibe. Though some resorts will offer bicycles to their guests, there are numerous options to rent a bike either hourly or weekly from the numerous rental outlets.

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Biker on Sanibel Bike Paths
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25 Miles Of Bike Paths On Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is designed to accommodate cyclists. As previously noted, there are approximately 25 miles of bike paths to explore and you can pretty much cycle anywhere and with plentiful bike racks to be utilized, exploring the island by bike is easy.

One of the shorter rides is Periwinkle way. Periwinkle from the Lighthouse beach to Tarpon bay Road is approximately a 4.4 mile ride and along this path are many restaurants and shopping plaza including shopping and dining the Tahitian Gardens, Periwinkle Place, Jerry’s shopping center and many small, local businesses specializing in charming treasures unique to the island.

Longer rides from Periwinkle include cycling to the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, approximately 4 miles away from Periwinkle place, the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge’s trail is another 4.25 miles, but well worth the effort for the abundance of nature you will see.

For the most enthusiastic cyclist, the ride from the Lighthouse Beach Park on Sanibel to Captiva island is 13 miles. There are many things to see along the way including the Shell Museum, the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge and Bowman’s beach among them. It is important to note that once you are on Captiva, there are no more bike paths and cyclists will be sharing the road with general traffic.

Other places to explore are Gulfside City Park beach which is on Algiers Road. Gulfside City Park is more centrally located on Periwinkle Way. Tarpon Bay Beach, Bowman’s Beach, the Lighthouse Beach Park, the Sanibel Historical Village and Middle Gulf Drive.

Bike Trails On Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are popular places for biking due to it’s 25 miles of bike paths. There are also specific trails to explore including wildlife trails, historic trails and trails for shell lovers. Furthermore, just cruising the bike paths on Sanibel Island along Periwinkle Way will expose you to the numerous, charming shopping plazas featuring unique island treasures and a plethora of excellent dining options. During vacation season when the traffic can slow you down, biking may be the best way to get around and sightsee. Bike rackets are offered almost everywhere you go and bike paths are wide with a canopy of vegetation along many paths keeping bikers comfortably in the sun.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Trail

Route: The loop starts and ends on SanCap road

Distance: 4.25 Miles

What you will see: Amazing for wildlife including over 200 species of birds, alligators and more.

Sanibel Island Historical Cemetery Trail

Route: Located off Middle Gulf Drive by Casa Ybel resort

Distance: 1.5 Miles

What you will see: Only accessible from the bike trail, this is a must see for history buffs.

Sanibel Causeway

Route: Mainland Florida to Sanibel Island

Distance: 3 Miles

What you will see: Stunning views either side of the bridge, several small parks to stop and soak in the sun and ocean, a fairly intense route for the more experienced cyclist.

Guidelines For Biking/Cycling On Sanibel Island

  1. Use hand signals to let others know your intentions.

  2. Ride on the right side of the path.
  3. Use an audible signal when passing others. It could be a Bell, a horn or even just a verbal warning, “passing left”.

  4. Use lights at night. A rear red light and reflector and white front light are the minimum required by Florida law, more are recommended.

  5. Headsets/headphones are not allowed while cycling.

  6. Electric Bikes/ E-Bikes, Class 1 electric bicycles are allowed on shared use bike paths. Class 1 e-bikes have to be peddle assist only (no throttle) and operate under 20 MPH.

  7. Riders under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet.

Where Can I Rent Bikes?

There are many rental options to choose from however, as the island is flat with generous bike paths, a simple single-speed or 7 speed will absolutely suffice. The rental companies offer many options including specialist bikes, hybrids, multi-speeds and attachments to tow small children. Most rentals will come with baskets on the front so it is easy to bring along water, beach supplies and other needs.

Rental companies typically will not let you use their bikes on the beach for wear and tear reasons. However, you can ride bikes on the beach.

#1 - Billy’s Rentals/Billy’s Bike Shop And Segway

1509 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957


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Billy’s Rentals, Sanibel island

Finnemore's Bike Rental, Sanibel Island

#2 - Finnimore’s Bike And Beach Rental

2353 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957


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#3 - Sunny Island Adventures

5400 Plantation Rd, Captiva, FL 33924


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YOLO Watersports bike rental, Captiva Island

#4 - YOLO Watersports

11534 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva Island, FL 33924


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