Manatee Park at Fort Myers
Manatee Park is located on a warm water discharge canal byr the Florida Power and Light power plant near Fort Myers. The warm waters turn the canal into a manatee refuge during the coldest months when water temperatures drop below 68 degrees.
Manatees typically are present from late December through February, depending on weather. Don't expect a stray animals to show up during warm weather. The better manatee feeding areas are nowhere near Manatee Park.
When the manatees are in the canal's turbid water, manatees are visible only when their bodies are above the surface. You will see the animals much better in the shallower, clearer water away from the spillway.
The canal area itself is fenced to prevent boats from entering. Outside the fence you can rent or launch a kayak to float over any animals near the blocked off section. As in most cold water refuges, the manatees start to depart the canal in search of food as the day warms up. Come early for the best viewing.
Hours: Dawn to dusk. No pets.
Parking Fees: $2/hour or $5/day from December through March; $1/hour/or $5/day from April through November
Concession/Kayak Rental: Concession open December to March from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 10901 State Road 80/Palm Beach Blvd. Fort Myers FL 33905; phone 239-690-5030.
Directions: Directions: Take I-75 to exit 141. Go east 1.25 miles. The park is on the right (directly across the street from the FPL Power Plant).
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