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Florida Coastal Access Guide - Collier County at a Glance Quicklinks
Collier county highlighted on a map of Florida
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park


Collier at a Glance

Coastal Cities
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades City
Popular Spot Naples/Marco Island
Sandy Beaches 34 miles
Public Accesses 57
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
Federal Lands Acres
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.

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Last updated: May 25, 2012


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