• OCEAN'S REACH IS CLOSED FOR THE INDEFINITE FUTURE DUE TO HURRICANE IAN.

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“Let’s Get Outside” Day!

Photo by James Schwabel, Alamy

The “Let’s Get Outside” Day will kick off this year’s weekend-long “Ding” Darling Days on Friday, Oct. 12 at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel, and what a line-up they’ll be featuring!

Wildlife Drive is normally closed on Fridays, but the refuge is offering free admission to cyclists and hikers from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Private vehicles will not be allowed on the drive that day.

A free Bunche Beach birding tram will depart from the refuge at 8 a.m. to experience low tide at the active birding park across the causeway. The three-hour tour is an annual highlight of “Ding” Days and spaces are limited. For reservations, call 239-472-8900.

The tour is one of a number of special activities scheduled for the day. Visitors can also enjoy five special, discounted tram tours. Costs are $9.75 for adults and $6 for children; reservations are recommended. The tram tours will take place at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

At 9 a.m., conservation educator Sara Hallas will lead a free Beach Walk at Perry Tract, adjacent to Gulfside City Park; city parking fees will apply. Other tours include a 9:30 a.m. free Refuge Birds and Wildlife Tour Caravan with Ranger Jeff Combs, a 10 a.m. free bike tour of Wildlife Drive with Ranger Toni Westland and a 1 p.m. free Hike and Storytime at the Wildlife Education Boardwalk with Ranger Monica Scroggin.

There will also be Free Animal Olympics Games at the Bailey Tract from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and an assortment of discounted kayak and boat tours throughout the day at Tarpon Bay Explorers.

Make plans to “Get Outside” and join us! For reservations, call 239-472-8900 or visit www.tarponbayexplorers.com.

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