Anchored by the communities of Matlacha, St. James City, Pineland, and Bokeelia, Pine Island is an anomoly among Florida’s coastal islands. It sits where the waters of San Carlos Bay and Charlotte Harbor meet, and there is another island farther offshore protecting it from the Gulf of Mexico, so Pine Island has no beaches: it’s ringed by mangrove forests. Without a sandy strand as an attraction, it’s remained very low-key, with much of its acreage taken up in tropical fruit orchards and public lands.
Trails and Parks in Pine Island
- Cayo Costa Hiking Trails - Offshore from Boca Grande and Pine Island, Cayo Costa State Park is tough to get to but the 6.5 miles of trails and many more miles of beaches will be yours to roam
- Cayo Costa State Park - To spend a day or a weekend on your own deserted island? Heaven. This is one of the tougher and costlier state parks to get to, but well worth it. Solitude is guaranteed. Miles and miles of lonely Gulf of Mexico beaches are yours to roam.
- St. Jude Trail - A ramble to the mangrove-lined shores of St. Jude Harbor, the St. Jude Trail is a birder's delight, tucked away in a residential neighborhood on the edge of St. James City on Pine Island and protected by the Calusa Land Trust.
- Tegus establish a foothold in Florida (7/31/2014) - It's big. It's colorful. And it's the newest non-native species to establish breeding populations in Florida. Meet the black and white tegu.