Big Cypress National Preserve (Miami-Dade, Monroe)
Everglades National Park (Miami-Dade, Monroe)
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
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 of 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 of 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, 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.
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 5-mile-by-20-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.
October 25, 2017 - 9:08am
Interested in subscribing to DEP newsletters or receiving DEP updates through email?
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.