Skip to main content

Friends of Rookery Bay

Friends of Rookery Bay Photo
Friends of Rookery Bay Photo

Friends of Rookery Bay supports the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples, which encompasses 40 percent of Collier County's coastline. The Reserve extends from Keewaydin Island near downtown Naples through the Western Everglades.

Friends of Rookery Bay invites people to get away from crowds, take a deep breath of fresh air, soak up some sunshine, and enjoy the wide open outdoors with its naturalist-led private, small group kayak and boat tours as well as kayak rentals.

Family friendly eco-tours take place in calm, clear, shallow back bay waters, and follow CDC guidelines for sanitizing equipment. An ADA-compliant pontoon boat is available.

The "Mangrove Tunnels and Mudflats Kayak Tour" runs daily from 9 a.m. to noon. with up to 8 paddlers. Trips include use of a single or tandem kayak, all equipment and paddling instruction.

Tours accommodate children ages 3 and up. Launch site is the Isle of Capri Paddlecraft Park.

Three different private boat tours are offered daily from 9 a.m. to noon for two to four passengers in one party. They all leave from the Rookery Bay Shell Island Road Field Station The "Life's A Beach Barrier Island Shelling Tour" offers the opportunity to explore a remote part of Keewaydin Island, a natural, living barrier island with an incredible diversity of life and some of the best shelling in Naples and Marco Island.

The "Essence of the Estuary Eco-Cruise" immerses guests in some of the most beautiful areas of wild Southwest Florida, along the westernmost extent of the Everglades ecosystem. Learn about mangroves, dolphins, manatees and the more than 150 species of birds who live in or migrate through Rookery Bay Reserve.

The "High Points Ancient Island Excursion" cruises through back bays and winding mangrove creeks to visit one of the most remote and unusual places in the Rookery Bay Reserve. Sand Hill is an ancient sand dune relic from the Pleistocene Era and one of the highest points in all of Collier County.

In addition to guided tours, Friends of Rookery Bay offers hourly, daily and weekly kayak rentals. Drop off is available at the Isle of Capri Paddlecraft Park, Shell Island Road kayak launch area, and at homes or locations in Marco Island, Isle of Capri, Goodland and South Naples. Friends of Rookery Bay supports Rookery Bay Research Reserve's online education programs and activities for children, adults and stakeholders working to protect our coastal environment. Learn more at

  • Boating
  • Natural Wildlife Viewing
  • COVID-19 Paradise Pledge Business