Explore Collier-Seminole State Park in Naples
Collier-Seminole State Park offers a wide variety of activities for all ages, including kayaking, camping, and more!
Less than 20 miles southeast of Naples sits a 7,200-acre chunk of natural Florida known as the “front door to the Everglades.” Collier-Seminole State Park, which opened in 1947, lies within the great mangrove swamp of South Florida, one of the largest such swamps in the world.
Kayak at Collier-Seminole State Park
There’s a lot to do in this state park, from camping to kayaking and more. The Blackwater River originates in the park and meanders several miles through the mangroves to the Ten Thousand Islands and beyond. This waterway makes for a fantastic trek on a kayak, canoe (you can rent them at the park) or a boat less than 24 feet long. You’ll quickly notice how quiet and peaceful your surroundings are, with just the sounds of nature as a backing track.
The boat basin features a ramp where you can launch a watercraft. You can cast a fishing line and try your luck catching a largemouth bass or other fish species (you’ll likely need a Florida fishing license).
Unique Historic Sites
History and engineering buffs won’t want to miss the Bay City Walking Dredge, a giant decommissioned machine that was built in 1924. The last of 145 such contraptions, It was used to dig a canal for the roadbed that would become the Tamiami Trail, a paved road linking Tampa to Miami. The beast “walked” its way through the wetlands, making it an engineering marvel for its time.
You’ll also want to visit The Seminole Blockhouse near the junction of U.S. routes 41 and 92. The structure was designed to look like a fort from the Seminole War Era of the 1800s and has stood for more than 70 years. Take some extra time and enjoy the adjacent butterfly garden.
Camping at Collier-Seminole
Collier-Seminole State Park features a lovely campground — used mostly during the cooler months — that encompasses 105 sites, each with electricity, water and picnic tables. The spaces accommodate everything from tents to large motorhomes.
Hike the Adventure Trail
For the ultimate adventure, hike the aptly named Adventure Trail. During most times of the year, you’ll be wading through water that ranges from your ankles to your knees — and sometimes up to your waist. This trek offers the full experience of the Florida wetlands in its most untamed state.
Tips for Hiking Collier-Seminole’s Adventure Trail
Keep in mind that this 6.5-mile trail is only for the most experienced hikers. Park rangers recommend wearing the rattiest pair of sneakers you own, as opposed to heavy hiking boots (and definitely not barefoot). The bottom will be mostly solid or a bit spongy, the water largely clear. But at times the bottom will be extremely muddy — so choose your footwear accordingly.
It takes three to four hours to hike the entire trail, so bring plenty of drinking water and energy food. It’s a good idea to chat with a park ranger before heading out. It will help you to better understand the challenges you’re likely to face and any specific items you should bring along. They’re more than happy to give you the lay of the land. Call (239) 394-3397.
Like many people, you might find the mere idea of the Adventure Trail daunting. That’s fine. You’re sure to love the other, more relaxing aspects of Collier-Seminole State Park – biking, bird watching, geo-seeking, and everyone’s favorite outdoor activity – picnicking!