The Bailey Tract trail on Sanibel Island is a part of J.W. Ding Darling National Wildlife Preserve. The Bailey Tract doesn't have the concentration of wildlife and birds that Wildlife Drive does, but it also doesn't have the concentration of people. I hiked the trails on Bailey Tract just after sunrise on a Friday morning and had the park to myself for the first 45 minutes.
The Bailey Tract Trail is located on the gulf side of Sanibel Island, the opposite side of the Island from Wildlife Drive and the Ding Darling visitor center. The Bailey Tract is free to use and is open on Friday when Wildlife Drive is closed.
The longest trail at the Bailey Tract is 1.1 miles long. Shorter trails and cutoffs are also available. I like to walk along the trails where the ponds and backwaters are front lit for better lighting. This will vary based on whether it’s a morning or afternoon hike.
I photographed a variety of birds at the Bailey Tract. The birds I saw and photographed were: eastern phoebe, Ibis, snowy egret, little blue heron, american coot, pied-billed grebe, osprey and common moorhen.
I also photographed turtles, alligators, butterflies, dragonflies, and a cuckoo wasp at the Bailey Tract.
The Bailey Tract is also a good location for macro photography. There were plenty of wildflowers and insects along the trails.
The GPS coordinates of the Bailey Tract are 26.428600, -82.080600. There are no restroom facilities at the park.
Written by Martin Belan