As the closest Sanibel beach resort to the refuge, West Wind Island Resort is excited by the news that J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will offer two days of free access to Wildlife Drive during Ding Days.

red-bike_2To celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week, Sanibel’s “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will open with free admission to the improved Wildlife Drive on two days during this year’s “Ding” Darling Days. In addition, on Friday, October 25, a day the Drive would normally be closed, it will be open to bikers and hikers only, except for special tram tours. (Tram passengers receive a 25% discount that day and all week long, Oct. 21-26. Adults $9.75. Children $6.)

This is especially good news for West Wind Island Resort guests who can rent bikes at the resort to ride the convenient distance to the Refuge.

The following day, Saturday, October 16, admission to Wildlife Drive is free for vehicular, as well as bike and foot traffic. It’s Conservation Art Day, with a free, two-hour Photography Tram Tour departing at 3 p.m. Reservations are recommended at 239-472-8900.

But first, on Sunday, Oct. 20, the drive is going to be open for free to all. It’s the rescheduled “Ding” Days’ kick-off Family Fun Day. In addition, Tarpon Bay Explorers (TBE), the refuge’s recreation concession, is offering free narrated 60-minute tram tours of the drive on a first-come basis to those who sign up that day.