LAKES REGIONAL PARK ../images/detail_photos/lakes42.jpgLAKES REGIONAL PARK Address 7330 Gladiolus Drive Fort Myers, FL 33908 Google Map/Directions Contact Information Park Supervisors: Dan Lott 239-533-7580 Sun-Thur and James Eash 239-533-7576 Tue-Sat Facility Staff Events Lee County Event CalendarLakes Park Event Calendar Hours Lakes Regional Park is open from 7 a.m. to dusk, seven days a week. We are not a pet friendly park so please remember to leave your pets at home. John Yarbrough Linear Park is the closest dog friendly facility where dogs must remain on leash.Woof-A-Hatchee at 16760 Bass Road is the closest Dog Park which offers an off leash area. Visit our website dog friendly facilities to find more park locations for your pet. Enjoy your visit here at Lakes Regional Park. The Park has two water features, located near shelters A2 and A3. The water features are available for use by all visitors. The Water Features are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. cold weather 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Important information:Splash pads may be closed from noon to 1 p.m. for maintenance and they do shut down automatically if lightning is detected in the area. Either feature may be closed temporarily to resolve maintenance issues as we prepare for the summer season. We have completed many upgrades, including new UV sanitation systems. Programs: Lakes Park Walking Tour with Bird Patrol 8:00 AM the first Saturday of every month at Shelter A-7 go to http://www.birdpatrol.org/ for more information. Strolling Tours of the Garden 9:00 AM second Saturday of the month from September through May. Meet at the Community Garden at the end of parking lot #3. Story Time In the Garden 10:00 AM second Wednesday of the month from October through April. Stories, activities are appropriate for children up to 3rd grade. Meet in the Children's Garden. The Museum and Railroad is currently operating: Monday thru Friday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Saturday and Sunday 10:00AM to 4:00 PM Starting August 22nd through October 1st the Museum and Railroad will only be operating: Friday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Saturday and Sunday 10:00AM to 4:00 PM Summer Camp begins on June 5th and ends on July 28th. Sessions are one week and there are eight sessions for this summer. You must be pre-registered to attend. Summer Camp Calendars may be viewed at this hyperlink http://www.leegov.com/parks/programs/summer/calendars Information Lakes Regional Park is a 279 acre park with a 158 acre freshwater quarry lake that offers a day of fun on land or on the water for the whole family. Activities and amenities include picnic shelters, a lodge, garden gazebo, amphitheater, pedestrian and cycling trails, outdoor fitness equipment, splash pad water features, playgrounds, sand volleyball courts, bicycle and boat rentals, miniature train rides, a fragrance garden, community garden, nature observation, fishing, summer camp and special events. Lakes Park now has an assisted tour service called the E.Z. Rider Program. The lake, with depths ranging from a few inches to 20 feet, boasts good fishing for Bass, Bream and other fresh and saltwater species. A variety of birds including Ibis, Egrets, Herons, Cormorants and Anhinga will offer excellent bird watching and photographic opportunities. The lake also supports an array of other wildlife, including the American Alligator. The park contains approximately 2.5 miles of paved or natural paths for walking, jogging, biking, and most other non-motorized activities. Lakes Regional Park has also been designated by the American Heart Association as an official "Smart! Walking Path!" We welcome people with disabilities and comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA). View the Park: You can see all of the park features on the Lakes Park Overview Map, see an aerial view of Lakes Regional Park or watch a video. Pets: We are not a pet friendly park so please remember to leave your pets at home. Woof-A-Hatchee at 16760 Bass Road is the closest Dog Park which offers an off leash area for your pet. There are several dog friendly facilities in the county. Parking Fee: All motorized vehicles must pay $1 per hour or $5 for all day access to the park. This park does accept the Lee County Annual Parking sticker. Pedestrians and bicyclists are free. (Pedestrians and bicyclists can access the park via the bike-path on Gladiolus Drive or Summerlin Road). Boaters: The lake depth varies from a few inches to over 20 feet. Small boats without motors are welcome. You must sign in and out at the boat launch. *There is no use of gas motors and or mounted gas motors on the lake. Electric motors only are allowed. *Living in Florida all of our water areas have different varieties of wildlife including the American Alligator. Please remember to observe your surroundings. E.Z. Rider Program: A Lee County Volunteer transports individuals and families who could not otherwise enjoy the park in a five-passenger golf cart through the park. The E.Z. Rider Program is by reservation only. Call 239-533-7575 Ext. 5 to schedule your reservation. Park Programs and Events: Lakes Regional Park offers several park programs and events throughout the year. To find out what is being offered in the park within the next few months, visit the Lakes Park Event Calendar. On Site Vendors: Bike and boats can be rented through Wheel Fun Rentals by calling 239-332-2453. The Railroad Museum of South Florida operates a 1/8th scale railroad that travels through the North end of Lakes Park into areas only accessible by rail. Contact them at 239-267-1905 for information, pricing and group rates. Land Stewardship (Management) Plan: Lakes Regional Park has 11 natural plant communities and five impacted communities or areas. A Land Stewardship (Management) Plan has been developed to identify natural resources, develop ways to protect and/or utilize those resources, and implement activities to restore Lakes Regional Park to a more viable, functioning system. View the Land Stewardship (Management) Plan for the Park to learn more about this plan. Throughout the park the exotic vegetation such as Australian Pine, Brazilian Pepper and Melaleuca have been removed and replanted with native species that will attract and support a more diverse population of wildlife. Volunteers: Lakes Regional Park has opportunities for volunteers interested in the EZ Rider Program, Community and Fragrance Garden, Train Village and Railroad Museum and Park Information Building (the Nest). You can contact Ross Becker at (239) 826-4233 Tuesday - Saturday for more information about becoming a Lakes Regional Park volunteer. The Nest was newly renovated to better serve our volunteers. Tile Outlets of America donated the material for this renovation and have a link to show this amazing transformation. Facility Reservations are highly suggested. Shelters can be rented by calling 239-533-7578 or by visiting the https://webtrac.leegov.com/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/wbsplash.html The lodge, garden gazebo and amphitheater can only be rented over the phone. We do have a few areas that have two picnic tables and one grill located throughout the park. These are first come first serve. These areas are the only places that you may have a 10' x 10' E.Z. Up Shelter with no stakes. Stakes are not to be driven into ground. No tents are to be used in the park. No Bounce Houses are permitted in these areas. You must have a reserved shelter to have a Bounce House. Facility Rental: The shelters, lodge, garden gazebo and amphitheater are popular sites that are rented for parties, weddings and so much more. These sites rent out 4 to 6 months in advance. The facility rental information for Lakes Park provides more information about each site. *When renting a shelter at the North end of the park you may want to consider bringing a wagon to help transport your items.You may use a 10’ x 10’ EZ Shade with no stakes. Bounce Houses without generators & without water features are permitted. Absolutely no stakes are to be driven into the ground. The shelter is available from 8:00am to 5:00pm each day. Staff will come by to check in with the person who made the shelter reservation to remind them of the park rules, to find out how many people are expected and to find out how long you will be there. You must check out by 5:00 p.m. All reservations must be paid for in advance. A non-refundable $10 cancellation fee will be applied to facility rental transfers or cancellations received at least 72 hours prior to the facility rental date. Any cancellation made less than 72 hours prior to the facility rental date will not be entitled to any refund. Exceptions to this policy will be made at the discretion of the Parks and Recreation administration staff based on circumstances surrounding the cancellation. Each vehicle in your party must display a parking pass. The daily parking fee is $1.00/hour or $5.00/day for each vehicle. Pay Machines Do Not Give Change. Patron vehicles are not allowed on park grounds outside of the parking lots. History Lakes Regional Park began as a man-made area where rock was quarried during the 1960's. The water comes from groundwater influx, surface water run-off and rainfall. The depth varies from a few inches to over 20 feet. It covers 158 acres of the 279 acre facility. It was purchased by the County in 1978. In 1982 ground was broken and it was developed for recreational use with the official "Grand Opening" on April 21, 1984. The basic facility has remained relatively unchanged since then with a few exceptions. In 1991 the "Fragrance Garden" was introduced and has grown from a small area of fragrant herbs, flowers and plants to a botanical type status with wide variety of plants, trees, shrubs and ground cover. In addition to this a "Memory Lane" was also started. This is achieved by monetary donations which dedicate Trees, shrubs, plants or benches to the memory of loved ones that are designated by plaques. The Lakes Regional Park Botanic Garden is in the conceptual phase. Fred Johnson, former Planning Manager for Lee County Parks, and Greg Diserio, Partner at David Jones Jr. and Associates, collaborated on the project. A presentation meeting was held on March 19th at Lakes Park. The concept plan will be available to view soon. In 1992 the re-alignment of Gladiolus Drive brought changes to the entrance of the facility and initiated the process of exotic vegetation removal and the replanting of native species, which continues today. In 1995 the "Miniature Railroad" opened for business. This is a scale model railroad that offers a 15 minute ride through the northern areas of the park. The ride runs beside the lake, through a tunnel and past several displays, such as scale villages, towns and natural areas. In 2004 the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation a 501.C3 non for profit group was formed. This organization is organized by Lee County business leaders along with dedicated citizens who recognize Lakes Regional Park as an extremely important green area in Lee County. This foundation is dedicated to helping restore Lakes Regional Park to a native Florida wildlife environment through assisting Lee County Parks & Recreation with the implementation of its Master Plan. The plan includes themed areas of native vegetation, additional meandering boardwalks, paths and nature trails through the Lakes preserve and new park amenities. In 2014, three outdoor total body fitness stations were added to offer dozens of exercise options, from basic stretching and stair steps to more strenuous pull-ups and squats. Two more stations will be added along the biking and jogging trail once donations are secured. This equipment also includes fitness guides for beginners and advanced athletes, suggested daily workout schedules and accompanying videos that users can view from a smart phone. Overall, the future restoration and enhancements will create an even more attractive wildlife environment for the community to enjoy. If you are interested in being a member of this group to help restore and preserve this beautiful park please call 239-533-7575 extension 5 or visit Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation.