Naples Florida’s Natural Wonders
No matter which direction you go, by car, on foot or bicycle – even horseback, there are a variety of natural wonders to be explored on land and in the water in Naples Florida.
Our favorite picks are here:
TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS
Situated near Marco Island, this cherished natural paradise is a network of water and mangroves full of nature and marine life. Great fishing, kayaking and boating await.
COLLIER-SEMINOLE STATE PARK
One of the largest mangrove swamps in the world. Full of plants, animals and history, this park offers campgrounds with great amenities.
ROOKERY BAY NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESERVE
Managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Office in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this undisturbed mangrove estuary is located at the northern tip of the Ten Thousand Islands. A favorite for paddleboarders.
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
An important habitat for endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther, The Everglades span across 1.5 million acres and offer countless things to see and do. Access from I-75 provides a glimpse into this pristine natural wonderland.
BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE
Featuring both tropical and temperate plants, the preserve is home to a diverse mix of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther. With a long list of activities – including ranger-led activities, one could spend many days exploring over 729,000 acres of this protected swamp.
CORKSCREW SWAMP SANCTUARY
Featuring a 2.5-mile boardwalk, the sanctuary is home to alligators, otters, white-tailed deer and red-bellied turtles, as well as a wide variety of wading birds, songbirds, raptors and the fabulous Painted Bunting.
PICAYUNE STRAND STATE FOREST
This fourth largest state forest in Florida is home to 78,000 acres of natural beauty. Known for a variety of wildlife – including the Florida panther – visitors enjoy biking, hiking and horse trails.
Bordered by the Picayune Strand State Forest is Naples Reserve. Created amongst 22 lakes, sweeping open water views and native, tropical landscaping, Naples Reserve offers residents canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and Hydrobikes from the Outrigger Center to explore the community’s centerpiece 125-acre Eagle Lake and a mile-long stretch of lakefront along the Picayune Strand State Forest. Cruises on the community’s two electric boats depart daily from the center’s floating docks to Kontiki Island.
For more about the Naples area, request a free copy of Naples Unplugged Magazine. This comprehensive travel guide is full of local tips that even residents may not know about.