Collier at a Glance
|Naples, Marco Island, Everglades City|
|Sandy Beaches||34 miles|
|Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail||12 sites|
|State Parks & Lands||Acres|
|Corkscrew Regional Ecological Watershed (Lee)||27,044|
|Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest (Hendry)||32,039|
|Picayune Strand State Forest||78,615|
|Collier-Seminole State Park||7,272|
|Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park||200|
|Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park||77,116|
|Big Cypress National Preserve (Miami-Dade, Monroe)||720,561|
|Everglades National Park (Miami-Dade, Monroe)||1,509,128|
|Florida Panther National Wildlife Reserve||26,605|
|Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve||110,559|
|Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Reserve||35,034|
|Bays & Inlets|
|Addison Bay, Barfield Bay, Chokoloskee Bay Clam Bay, Fakahatchee Bay, Goodland Bay Gullivan Bay, Johnson Bay, Little Hickory Bay Moorings Bay, Naples Bay, Pelican Bay Rookery Bay, Tarpon Bay, Water Turkey Bay, Venetian Bay|
|Rivers & Paddling Trails|
|Barron River, Blackwater River, Cocohatchee River, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail|
Collier County is one the state's largest counties, yet more than half is undeveloped and in conservation. Sandy beaches in the north stretch from Barefoot Beach Preserve, a 342-acre undeveloped barrier island, to the urban beach resorts, Naples and Marco Island. Collier's southern coastline is lined by the submerged lands, mangroves, marshes and barrier islands of the Ten Thousand Islands, Everglades and Rookery Bay. Visitors can enjoy butterfly gardens, wading birds, manatees and alligators to primitive camping, swamp canoe trips or hunting.
Collier's largest communities, Naples and Marco Island, are known for beautiful beaches, shopping, dining and abundant golf courses. Everglades City is 1.2 square miles at the mouth of the Barron River on Chokoloskee Bay.
Marco Island's 17 mile stretch of sparkling sand beaches transition to the Ten Thousand Islands, a vast, quiet, wetland dotted with numerous islands. Its northern third is brackish marsh, ponds, oak hammocks, cabbage palms and tropical hardwoods; its lower two-thirds are part of the largest expanse of mangroves in North America. Camping, fishing hiking and paddling trails beckon outdoor enthusiasts.
Rookery Bay and Cape Romano – Ten Thousand Island Aquatic Preserves overlap the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Reserve and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve that offers an outdoor classroom and laboratory of mangroves, oyster bars, seagrasses and salt marsh for students, scientists and visitors. The research reserve's Environmental Learning Center in Naples offers hands-on learning, a 2,300 gallon aquarium, interactive exhibits, art gallery, weekly programs and nature store.
Big Cypress National Preserve (the nation's first preserve) encompasses Big Cypress Swamp, the Paradise Coast Blueway, Florida Panther National Wildlife Reserve, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Reserve and other state conservation lands. The climate transitions in Collier County from temperate to tropical. Everglades National Park covers a small corner of southern Collier and a vast area of Monroe and Miami - Dade counties.
Delnor-Wiggins State Park in Naples has a mile of undeveloped barrier island beaches with sunbathing, swimming, beach-combing, snorkeling and picnicking on the gulf. Swimming is not allowed at Wiggins Pass, but fishing is popular. Boats may be launched from the Water Turkey Bay mangrove swamp side to access the gulf and estuaries or the Cocohatchee River for saltwater or freshwater fishing.
Collier-Seminole State Park hosts one of three original stands of the rare royal palm. The park is equipped with canoes, a boat ramp to Blackwater River, full-facility, primitive and youth campsites, picnic pavilions and grills. Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, a five-mile by twenty-mile swamp forest, is the only place in the world where bald cypress trees and royal palms share a forest canopy. It is home to native orchids and bromeliad, Florida panthers, white-tailed deer, Florida black bears, Eastern indigo snakes, Everglades-minks, diamondback terrapins and a rich blend of birds.