Area State & National Parks

Going Beyond The Beach
Enjoy these nearby state and national parks!

While Naples offers award-winning beaches, fine dining, golf, and shopping, you’ll also find a world-class natural adventure just a few minutes away. South Florida is home to the country’s largest expanses of mangrove forest and its last remaining virgin old growth bald cypress forest. This is also the nation’s orchid capital with 44 native species! And, of course, there’s Everglades National Park - a World Heritage Site and the largest subtropical wilderness in the US.   With over 2,300 square miles, Collier County is the Florida's largest county. Best of all, more than 80% of that has been protected for wildlife and natural enjoyment. Discover some of the wondrous state and national parks you can visit!    

10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge

The refuge is part of the largest expanses of mangrove forest in North America and features concentrations of wading birds including wood storks, water birds, shorebirds and is used year round by manatees and sea turtles. Activities include boating, sport fishing, and camping. More Info

Big Cypress National Preserve

Protecting over 720,000 acres of this vast swamp, Big Cypress National Preserve contains a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities that are home to a diversity of wildlife, including many of the state’s elusive Florida panthers. Recreational opportunities range from hiking to hunting. The Preserve also represents the southern terminus of the 1,400 mile Florida National Scenic Trail. More Info  

Collier-Seminole State Park

This park features a wealth of vegetation and wildlife typical of the Everglades, plus a forest made up of tropical trees. Although rare elsewhere, the Florida royal palm is a common tree here. Hiking, bicycling, and canoeing trails offer opportunities for visitors to explore the park´s remarkable wilderness. Anglers can enjoy both freshwater and saltwater fishing and campers can spend the night in a full-facility campground. More Info    

Everglades National Park

Designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance, it is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and boasts rare and endangered species. Camping, boating, hiking, and even a visit to a former missile base in the center of the park are all possible. Visitors can explore 156 miles of canoe/kayak and walking trails. More Info 

Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve

Known as the Amazon of North America, this shallow river shields the forest interior from extreme cold temperatures and fosters a high level of rare and endangered tropical plant species. Its groves of native royal palms are the most abundant in the state and the ecosystem of the Fakahatchee Strand is the only place in the world where bald cypress trees and royal palms share the forest canopy. It is the orchid and bromeliad capital of the continent with 44 native orchids and 14 native bromeliad species. Wildlife from otters to ospreys and American alligators to Zebra Longwing butterflies call this strand home. More Info    

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge

Established specifically to protect Florida panther habitat, this refuge and surroundings is also home to 24 other species of mammals, birds and reptiles that are state or federally listed as threatened, endangered or of special concern. A quick stop at this refuge offers two short hiking trails including an unimproved 1.3 mile trail and a 0.3 mile wheelchair accessible trail. More Info 

Picayune Strand State Forest

The forest is comprised of cypress strands, wet prairie and pine flatwoods in the lowlands and subtropical hardwood hammocks in the uplands. The Belle Meade Horse Trail provides equestrians with a 22-mile trail and an equestrian camping area. The Sabal Palm Hiking Trail is a 3.2-mile trail that gives hikers an opportunity to view cypress trees some of which are now over 100 years old. The forest provides habitat for many species including black bear, bald eagle, wood stork, Big Cypress fox squirrel and swallow-tailed kites. More Info   

Photo Credits:
Top Image: Böhme Photography. | Ten thousand islands NWR: Bill Wilen. USFWS.| Big Cypress National Preserve: Larry W. Richardson | Collier Seminole State Park: Park Website | Everglades national park: Harald | Fakahatchee Strand: Miguel vieira | Florida panther NWR: Larry W. Richardson | Picayune Strand: Jaxstrong