Before You Go:

This isn’t an overly long loop. From the north end to south end of Boca Grande is about 13 miles round trip. If you are doing the ride in the early morning or early evening hours, you can get by without any sunscreen.

Sunglasses are always a necessity along with a pair of riding gloves, helmet and – possibly – sunscreen during the mid-day hours.

Also, bring along at least $5.00 in cash. As of this writing, that is the fee for the Boca Grande Causeway. It is $2.00 by bicycle. I, personally, would not enjoy riding across the Boca Grande causeway. The bridges are very narrow and there is no designated cycling lane.

Getting There:

I took Interstate 95 South of the Jacaranda Boulevard Exit. I traveled south on Jacaranda Boulevard to its intersection with Highway 776. South on Highway 776 to its intersection with Highway 775 (Placida Road). South on Placida Road to its intersection with the Boca Grande Causeway. Along the Boca Grande Causeway to Gills Grocery and Deli. Handily there is an unused parking lot behind the Deli.

The Trail:

Leaving from the Deli parking lot, the trail doesn’t actaully start at this point. You must first travel south along the sidewalk a short distance. Don’t be like me and speed read signs along the trail. There is a sand walking path that runs parallel to the trail for quite a way. I misread one of the signs posted and thought it to mean that the paved portion of the path was for the golf carts that are prevalent on the island. I had to laugh at myself after struggling along the sand path for quite a ways before reading the sign correctly. Don’t let this happy to you. :-)

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - General Trail Shot

Not too far south along the trail, there is a nice little viewing area with benches that will provide a fine view of Peekins Ranch Cove (that is the label on Google Maps – if this is incorrect, please post a correction in the comments).

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Peekins Ranch Cove

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Peekins Ranch Cove

The northern portion mostly spins through residential areas that are separated from the main trail by lovely hedgerows. The are quite a few crossings but, for the most part, very few cars were out on the road in the early morning hours.

Once you reach 5th Street, you will be getting into the main business district for Boca Grande.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Along 5th Street

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Looking along 5th Street

The business district of Boca Grande is quite charming. It has an old fishing village feel to it. It was nice to see them retain a small portion of the old railroad bed along one of the buildings lining the trail.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Old Railbed

Unlike many business districts, exercise caution through Boca Grande’s district, it is quite busy with pedestrians, cars, golf carts and other cyclists.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Business District

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Business District

Just south of the main business district, the trail turns to the west. You will see the Boca Grande Community Center to the north and the Boca Bay subdivision running along the south side of the trail.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Community Center

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Bay Community

You aren’t traveling west long before you turn south again to ride parallel to Gulf Drive. As anyone knows who follows my blog, I have a love of bridges. Boca Grande provided another love of mine – lighthouses. The island boasts two lights. For me, the better of the two is the Boca Grande Range Light.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Range Light

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Range Light

Near the lighthouse, I happened upon this Osprey tending its nest. It is quite a magnificent bird that makes homes in dead trees and atop power poles across the state of Florida.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Osprey Nest

The trail continues south from the Boca Grande Range Light to the second lighthouse on the island. At the southern end of the island, the Boca Grande Lighthouse keeps watch over the Boca Grande Pass.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Lighthouse Sign

There is a $2.00 fee for bicycles entering the site. It is the honor system and I’m not sure where I was supposed to hang the tag. Perhaps from my handlebars? :-)

There was a restored chapel just to the north of the lighthouse. I don’t know if it is ever opened to the public but it looks like they did a perfect job restoring the chapel. The are also quite a few boardwalks that run out to the Gulf of Mexico to the west of the chapel and lighthouse.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Chapel and Lighthouse

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Chapel

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Lighthouse and Boca Grande Pass

The lighthouse is well preserved. The museum wasn’t open the morning I was there but, because of the cold, I had the entire site to myself. Enjoy the pictures.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Lighthouse

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Lighthouse Sign

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Lighthouse

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Lighthouse

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Pass

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Wooden Cleat

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Wooden Cleat Sign

The Boca Grande Lighthouse being the southern terminus of the Boca Grande Bicycle Path, it was time to turn north and retrace the route back north. The designers of the trail did add in ample areas to stop and observe this beautiful island.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Pond Viewing Area

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Pond Viewing Area

Of course, I couldn’t travel north and NOT stop and capture some more pictures of the Boca Grande Range Light. :-)

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Range Light

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Boca Grande Range Light

With all this talk of lighthouses, I guess I should mention that the Range Light sits on Gasparilla Island State Park. It is a beautiful park with full facilities. It fronts along the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Gasparilla Island State Park

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Gasparilla Island State Park Sign

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Gasparilla Island State Park Beach Looking North

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Gasparilla Island State Park Beach Looking South

Simple retracing our thread through the Boca Grande Business District back north, don’t be like me and have a brain cramp and miss the section where you turn back to the east. I easily got back on track and picked the trail back up and headed back to my starting point.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Trail End North

I did make a small side trip out to the Boca Grande fishing pier. It isn’t much to behold but it did give good views of the Boca Grand Causeway.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Fishing Pier Sign

The Boca Grande Bicycle Path is a short jaunt but, what it lacks in length, it more than makes up for in scenery.

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Peekins Ranch Cove

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Fishing Pier

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Fishing Pier

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Fishing Pier

Happy Trails ~ John

Boca Grande Bicycle Path - Peekins Ranch Cove