Buck Key: One of Captiva’s Hidden Gems

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Photo: Robot Brainz

Just to the east of Captiva Island, Buck Key remains one of Captiva’s true hidden gems. The uninhabited preserve parallels Captiva for about two miles.

The former barrier island is home to a large variety of plant-life and animal-life. A good way to see Buck Key up close is by kayaking.

One popular route leads kayakers on a narrow trail across Buck Key. This particular trail crosses over a lagoon and through shaded mangrove tunnels to the island’s opposite side and Pine Island Sound.

You can also choose to take a longer route, circling Buck Key in the southern direction. This trip will likely take a few hours to complete. The Buck Key trail is about four miles long. It weaves down much of the island’s length and back again, taking about two hours to complete.

Luckily, there are several designated trail markers for kayakers to follow, and people often do use professional guides. Along the way kayakers are sometimes treated to schools of fish, dolphins and birds.

Sometimes people also spot otters, bald eagles and stingrays. Some local tour providers actually specialize in helping kayakers plan out adventurous tours with a focus on wildlife sightings.

There are several outfitters to choose from on Sanibel and Captiva islands. For those who already have a kayak, you’ll need to account for parking and launch fees. Either way, though, you’re likely in for quite a treat as you explore the natural beauty of Buck Key on your own terms.

If you’ve ever wanted to own property on a private island, an exclusive possibility exists for that, too. Thirteen acres of property in the middle of the federal preserve is up for sale. It’s said the Captiva Key property could accommodate a handful of large estate homes or one large family compound on a private island.