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Ft Myers as base for exploration of the wildlife and hiking variety?

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DH and I are going to spend a week in Cape Coral, adjacent to Ft Myers, winter home of the Boston Red Sox, our reason for going. Sort of. We are looking for ideas for day trips that bring us to preserves or state parks with walking trails. We are familiar with the DingDarling Wildlife Preserve, and similar sites, and we are wiling to venture further in order to see more of FL's parks and wildlife. For example, is the northern part of the Everglades something we can aim to visit in a day trip? Does anyone know of other day-trip type locations for hikes/walks/wildlife viewing, different from what I see here in Boston, (ha)? Thanks

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