Everglades Parks

Big Cypress National Preserve

Admin. location:  33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee

239.695.1201

Overview:  a vast, federally protected wilderness spreads from Naples’ and Golden Gate’s back door. It is home to alligators, herons, bald eagles, white-tailed deer, bobcats and the endangered Florida panther. Big Cypress National Preserve borders Golden Gate to the east.

 

Collier-Seminole State Park

Admin. location:  20200 Tamiami Trail East, Naples

239.394.3397

Overview:  facilities include:  a “walking dredge” (considered a marvel of modern engineering used in the late 1920s for the construction of the Tamiami Trail. The 6,400 acre park showcases vegetation and wildlife typical of the Everglades. Explore mangroves and cypress swamp by land or water via boat tour, canoe rentals and hiking trails. Tent and RV camping are available.

 

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Admin. location:  375 Sanctuary Road West, Naples

239.348.9151

Overview:  this 11,000 acre preserve is the “crown jewel” of the National Audubon Society’s sanctuary system. World-famous among photographers, birders and other wildlife watchers, the sanctuary hosts hundreds of alligators and almost 200 bird species, including nesting wood storks. Its 2.25 mile boardwalk meanders through the nation’s largest old-growth cypress forest and a tropical jungle of fern, orchids and wildflowers.

 

Everglades National Park

Admin. location:  Ernest Coe Visitor Center, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead

305.242.7700

Overview:  Northern Section – the northern section of the main park road will take you through the park entrance, The Anhinga Trail, Long Pine Key, The Pa-hay-okee Overlook Trail, and Mahogany Hammock.

 

Everglades National Park – Gulf Coast Visitor’s Center

Admin. location:  815 Oyster Bar Lane, Everglades City

239.695.3311

Overview:  this serves as the gateway for exploring the Ten Thousand Islands, a maze of mangrove islands and waterways that extends to Flamingo and Florida Bay. The visitor center offers educational displays, orientation films, informational brochures, and backcountry permits. There are also regularly scheduled sightseeing cruises to experience the saltwater portion of the park.

 

Fakahatchee Strand State Park

Admin. location:  137 Coastline Drive, Copeland

239.695.4593 

Overview:  this state preserve is located north of Everglades City and lies adjacent to the western border of the Big Cypress National Preserve. It is owned by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The Strand’s 74,000 acres are part of the main drainage slough of the Big Cypress Swamp. A 2,000-foot-long boardwalk at Big Cypress Bend, winds through old growth cypress swampland. Trails on old logging tram roads, remaining from past lumbering operations in the early 1900’s, also provide access to the preserve. Ideal for wildlife watching and guided canoe trips.

 

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge

Admin. location:  3860 Tollgate Boulevard, Naples

239.353.8442

Overview:  two hiking trails are open to the public on the refuge. The trails are located about a quarter of a mile north of the intersection of State Road 29 and I-75. Open during daylight hours only, the trails provide the refuge visitor with a chance to experience the various habitats found on the refuge.

 

Ten Thousand Island National Wildlife Refuge

Admin. location:  3860 Tollgate Boulevard, Naples

239.353.8442

Overview:  located in Collier County on the southwest coast of Florida. This 35,000 acre refuge protects important mangrove habitats and a rich diversity of native wildlife, including several endangered species. The refuge is part of the largest expanses of mangrove forest in North America. Approximately two thirds of the refuge is mangrove forest, which dominates most tidal fringes and the numerous island (or keys). The northern third of the refuge consists of brackish marsh and interspersed ponds, and small coastal hammocks of oak, cabbage palms, and tropical hardwoods such as gumbo limbo.